Saudi dictatorship wants to halve Filipino maids’ wages

This video says about itself:

27 August 2010

A Sri Lankan woman working as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia says she has been severely abused for complaining about being overworked.

Ariyawathi’s Saudi employers reportedly hammered 24 nails into her hands, legs and forehead, which had to be removed later with surgery.

Sri Lanka’s government says it will report the incident to Saudi authorities.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Philippines won’t cut Saudi pay

Friday 20 May 2011

The Philippines today rejected an appeal from Saudi Arabia to cut the minimum wage for Filipino maids in half.

Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that her country will not be sending new domestic staff until the dispute is solved.

The Saudi government wants the minimum monthly salary for Filipino maids lowered from £250 to £125.

Saudi officials have complained that the Philippine government has imposed strict measures on Saudi employers, including giving out their personal data and information on their income.

About 1.2 million Filipinos work in the kingdom, including skilled labourers, nurses and maids.

Ms Baldoz said that the Philippine government’s requirements, including the minimum wage, are mandated by law as part of measures to protect the welfare of overseas workers, particularly in Arab countries where abuse is rife.

The Philippines has already barred workers from going to some Middle East countries.

The minister warned that oil-rich Gulf countries were pressing the Philippines to relax the rules for overseas workers in return for mediation efforts and had threatened to limit oil exports.

“These countries continue to press us not to impose the ban, citing their political role in the peace negotiations in the southern Philippines and threaten to cut oil supplies,” she said.

“There is really a wide political repercussion regarding the hiring of household service workers.”

She said that about 13,000 maids head to Saudi Arabia every year, of which 9,000 are newly hired and the rest are returning workers who have their contracts renewed.

Ms Baldoz said she planned to discuss the wage dispute with her Saudi counterparts at an International Labour Organisation conference in Geneva next month.

Mass protests build the resistance in Yemen: here.

Governments, trade unions and employers voted at a summit in Geneva today to improve the working conditions and rights of the world’s 100 million domestic workers: here.

Four Nigerian women forced to work as slaves after being illegally trafficked to Britain have won their case against the Metropolitan Police for its failure to investigate their plight: here.

Britain bails out of domestic worker treaty: here.

USA: A judge has ordered a Los Angeles-based farm labour contractor to pay more than £210,000 for failing to properly treat and pay Thai farmworkers in Hawaii: here.

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