Many reasons quoted in labor row ‘standoff’ between Kuwait and Philippines.
17 May 2023, 12:00 AM
30 June 2023, 12:00 AM
The firm measures taken by Kuwait recently, driven by popular support, to stop granting any visas to Filipino workers, and restricting entry only to those who have a valid residence permit is beginning to bear fruit before the upcoming joint committee meeting, reports Al-Rai daily.
Primarily, a delegation from the Philippine Ministry of Labor was scheduled to visit Kuwait from May 16 to 18 to attend the joint committee meeting on the thorny issue of employment, and now it has been reported that the government in the Philippines has now decided to replace the members of the delegation which now will comprise of officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, according to what the diplomatic sources told Al-Rai daily.
Bassam Al-Shammari, an expert in domestic labor affairs, listed a number of reasons that led to the aggravation of the situation between the Kuwaiti and the Philippine sides in terms of the file of labor force recruitment from the Philippines. He explained that the most prominent reason that led to this decline is the failure of the Center for Shelter for Expatriate Workers affiliated to the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in playing its role and taking the required measures in the most complete manner.
Another reason is the problem of accumulation of female workers in their embassies and buildings belonging to them in Kuwait, and the lack of any urgent and effective solutions to this problem, which has been outstanding for a long time. Still another reason is the delay in adjudicating labor disputes, and the difficulty in securing the most basic rights of the workers especially with regard to withholding their personal documents, such as debit cards and passports.
The sources indicated the mission of the Philippine delegation is to try to bridge the gap that has widened between the two countries, after talks faltered regarding resolving the problem of recruiting workers from Manila, noting that after Kuwait’s decision to stop visas for the Filipinos, “the issue has returned to square one.” The labor file now will be dealt with by officials from the foreign ministries of the two countries since “there are matters that were not clear or well understood by both parties with regard to labor rights.”
The labor sources said that “the large number of requests from the Filipino side under the pretext of ensuring the well-being of its workers led to worsening the situation,” pointing out that “most of the requests that were raised were exaggerated and showed Manila’s lack of commitment to the bilateral agreement signed with Kuwait regarding employment.
Kuwait manila labor talksKuwait expat jobs 2023