A recent statistical report from the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) disclosed that the number of construction and vocational workers in Kuwait reached 43,555 by mid-2015, while the post construction workers totaled 13,000 including 8,444 painting and cleaning workers.
In a survey conducted by the Al-Seyassah daily, the respondents were casual workers who hang along roadsides at various locations in the country to identify their plights and reasons why they were found in such a situation.
The questions also included whether sitting down in those places for a long period before getting clients provide them enough fund to take care of their needs and their relatives back home. Many of them disclosed that they fell victims to visa traders and they were forced to embark on such jobs to cover the amount of money lost in processing the failed deals.
They urged the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to stand as their sponsor instead of the bogus companies who only suck their blood and dry their pockets. One of the workers, Mohammad Badry disclosed that a contracting company brought him to Kuwait after he had paid KD1,700 but was shocked upon arrival to realize that it was a bogus company.
He said this situation pushed him to stay outside from 5:00am till 9:00am. He stated that he takes up a job when he is approached by anyone and returns home if nobody requires for his services, while he makes an average of KD5 as daily wage. Another worker, Subhi Abdul-Wadoud, has been working in Kuwait for almost three years under the same condition to enable him to take care of his ailing mother, children and other members of the family.
He was frank in saying that he violated the Residency Law, because his sponsor demanded KD700 for its renewal, adding if he made that amount he would have returned home long ago. He indicated that he gets job only about three days or less in a week. Abdullah Al-Hawari admitted that he regretted the day he left his country, adding he was under bondage of a visa trader to whom he paid heavily to facilitate his entry into Kuwait.
He informed that he is a bachelor’s degree holder in engineering and he had to borrow money from his relatives, neighbors and friends before he could travel to Kuwait where he works as a painter.
Another worker, Mousa, asserted that construction job is strenuous. He said he endures the scorching sun during summer and extreme cold in winter. He informed that he usually wait for a job by the roadside and many of them have to struggle when vehicles park to select workers, which is undignified. He revealed there was nothing else they could do after being duped by visa traders.
He is from a family of seven, so he should send money back home to take care of his siblings, although he does not have a stable monthly income since he cannot guarantee the number of days he works in a month.
Sa’eed Abdul-Wahab pleaded with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to stand as sponsor for casual workers who are on unstable daily wages. He said it is more reasonable for them to pay the ministry around KD100 per year instead of paying to sponsors who only suck their blood.
Source: Arab Times