Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Paid Their Dues and Deported

From today’s Kuwait Times:

KUWAIT: The government reached an agreement with Asian workers yesterday to end a three-day strike over pay and conditions, state news agency KUNA said. Three hundred protesters were also deported after being paid their dues, Kuwait Times has learned. Earlier, hundreds of mainly Bangladeshi workers went on strike for a third day, seeking better pay and improved working conditions, with some overturning cars and ransacking offices.

This all started back a couple weeks ago – remember the hospital worker’s strike? The gas station attendant’s strike? And then the Kuwait Times wrote an article that the company had agreed to pay wages and the workers were going back to work.

The next day, the workers said there had never been any agreement, and no one had been paid! They lied, and hoped the problem would go away.

So my question today is – I believe 300 were deported – maybe more. Do you believe they were paid all their wages?

Several citizens were angry these people had chosen to demonstrate, riot, strike, etc and suggested they should take their case to the Kuwait courts. Do they have eyes to see? These are the little guys you see at the street corners, they don’t speak English or Arabic, they don’t have enough to eat, they don’t even have privacy or clothing or their wages. Go to court? How do they go to court?

I have always loved the verse in the Qur’an that talks about paying the laborer for his work before the sweat has dried on his back. I think there are some very guilty employers out there, and some very slimy recruiters, who bring people in with a whiff of hope for a better tomorrow, and then cheat them. It will be on their heads.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues | | 17 Comments

How Long?

AdventureMan was driving, which left me free to take photos on my way to the airport. Here is the exact same set of traffic lights I photographed April 14th and I hope you will notice, while there actually is a very very dimly lit red light, we can’t discern it in this photograph, and you can barely discern it with your naked eye. Three months later, nothing has changed.

It doesn’t take that much. Send the traffic-light-bulb-changing guy out every single day, and this will not be an issue. How long will it be before we have working red lights?

Now, this truck full of paving stones:

This is not a secure load. This is an accident waiting to happen. The driver is also very aggressive, and hates being passed. His tires are also bald.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 9 Comments