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Expat wanderer

Deported Workers to Get Rights

From today’s Kuwait Times:

Deported workers to get rights
Published Date: August 02, 2008

KUWAIT: Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak and the Minister of Interior Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid affirmed that Kuwait will never wrong anybody.

They said Kuwait strongly endorses human rights and will ensure that all the deported laborers will get their rights. The indemnity of workers as well as their other dues will be sent to them through the Bangladeshi Embassy in Kuwait.

Al-Mubarak also affirmed that there was no connection between the issue of human trafficking and the strikes staged by Bangladeshi workers. He said the workers committed violations by resorting to acts of sabotage and vandalism and Kuwait has the right to apply laws to deter such acts of violence.

Al-Khalid said the Ministry of Interior initially did not resort to force in dispersing the workers but was left with no option after they turned violent, reported Al-Rai. He said the rioters who resorted to acts of sabotage and vandalism had to be stopped to maintain Kuwait’s national security.

I am guessing this means that the workers were deported without receiving their back salaries. I have a sinking feeling that there probably isn’t a list of them, and what they are owed, and a way to get these salaries to them – I would guess that many of them don’t even have an address.

From the July 31st Kuwait Times:

Published Date: July 31, 2008
By A Saleh, Staff writer

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has continued summoning cleaning company heads to speedily resolve discussions on cleaning workers complaints after the strikes were suspended. A ministry official said that workers from 20 companies were involved in the strike action, with over 150 workplaces being affected by the strikes, including hospitals, health centers and other state facilities, as well as Cooperative Societies and private sector companies.

The official explained that the social affairs ministry is currently negotiating wage rises for the workers with the companies involved, as well as insisting on back payment of their unpaid salaries and improvements to their miserable living conditions, in order to avoid future recurrences of the recent protests.

The ministry is completely serious about taking strict steps against the companies that fail to comply with new decisions, the official emphasized. He added that the ministry is insisting on receiving official undertakings from the cleaning companies’ management to pay the backdated salaries in full; if these are not paid, the ministry will deduct KD 250 per worker from the company’s bank account.

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Combination of Events

Yesterday I visited our house. We have been seriously blessed with good renters, people who are good hearted, and take care of the house. We have a good property manager; when something needs to be done – a new roof, a new furnace, a new fence – he has people who can handle the job, and the job gets done well.

The house still has it’s original refrigerator from when it was built. I think it needs a new one – before an emergency happens and our renters lose their food. I measure, take stock of how the house is doing, and then . . . I have to go buy a refrigerator.

For me, this is stressful. A refrigerator is something that is supposed to last for a while. I go to Consumer Reports and I read about all the refrigerators. Here is what is interesting – the top rated model, in terms of keeping things cold or frozen, in terms of energy use, etc. has thirteen consumer reviews, and most of them are negative! Most needed repairs, and most of the repairs had to do with the ice maker and the cold water on the door thingie (to use the technical term)

So I visited three stores, looked at refrigerators. At two of the stores, you had three choices – white, stainless steel or black. I am not a black-appliance person, I am not a person who wants black in my kitchen. Neither, I discovered, am I a white-appliance person. And the stainless steel just makes me tired; it is a fad that is already passing. So what to do?

I went to the third store and there is more choice. I find the top rated model, which is on sale, and then ask the salesman if he has the same model WITHOUT the cold water and ice dispenser on the door, and he does! And it is on sale! And WITHOUT the fancy extras – it is exactly the same price as the ones WITH the fancy extras!

How funny is that?

I went ahead and ordered the one without all the water dispensers. It does have an ice cube maker, that is fine with me. Then, it took me longer to pay for it and arrange for delivery than it took me to research and decide which model to buy.

The salesman was very good, he knew his stuff. This wasn’t his fault. The problem is that I am an anomaly. My billing address is not the same as the address to which the refrigerator will be delivered. I have several different phone numbers, one of which is only active when I am in the USA, one of which rings in Kuwait, and I don’t want people calling in the middle of the night, oh, what to do?

I don’t exactly know what time is a good time for delivery for the renter; that is always handled by the property manager. I don’t have his phone number with me. GROAN!

When I finally get back to my Mother’s place, I am exhausted. A soft rain starts falling around 4 pm and from then on, I keep falling asleep. I am probably still jet lagging, yes, I know, it’s been a week but my body still has a time zone all its own.

I know it is too early to go to sleep so I make myself stay awake, I try to read, but at 9 pm, I totally give up. It’s the exhaustion, and it is the soothing sound of the steadily falling light rain. I keep my window open; I love the fresh air, and I love to hear the birds, and oh, the sound of rain! This morning, yes, 4 a.m. and I am wide awake. It is a GORGEOUS, sunny day, the clouds and rain have gone, and I had better start packing for the next leg of this journey while I have all this energy.

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Seattle, Shopping, Travel | Leave a comment