5 OFWs in Saudi arrested for filing labor complaints

THE Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS), an affiliate organization of migrant rights group Migrante-Middle East in Saudi Arabia, yesterday said it received request for assistance from fellow co-workers of the five distressed OFWs who were detained in Riyadh jail yesterday by their erring employer.

Eric Jocson, chairperson of KGS-Migrante, said the OFWs have been apprehended on Saturday afternoon at their company barracks by local police after their employer reported that 13 of them staged an “illegal” work stoppage since last week.

The five are now detained at Old Batha Police station in Riyadh.

Prior to this, the 13 OFWs working for  Keytechnology for Furnishing Est. filed a formal complaint at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) against their employer, a certain Tahir Abdullah Barasain.

“The 13 distress OFWs complained of working for more than eight hours but have not been paid for their overtime,” Jocson said. “They were not issued protective personal equipment during work, and forcing them to finish their work or else two days’ salary will be deducted.”

Last September 15, their employer came to their barracks and forced them to sign an agreement insinuating that they are staging a strike, but the 13 distress workers did not sign.

“Yesterday, at about 2 p.m., five of the 13 distress OFWs have been apprehended by police including Jerry Garingo and 4 other co-workers,” Jocson added.   D’Jay Lazaro

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