41 OFWs seek blacklisting of employer, recruiter
FORTY ONE overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia claimed that they were victims of labor malpractice committed by their employer. They also alleged that there Manila-recruitment agent violated their labor rights as they sought assistance from a chapter of Migrante-Middle East in Dammam, eastern region of Saudi Arabia.
Based on the report from Sonny Rivera, OFW Join Force-Migrante Eastern Saudi Arabia chairperson to Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, the 41 OFWs were hired as male cleaners by a local establishment named Al-Zahran Operations and Maintenance. They were deployed by its Manila-based agent Al-Ahram International Human Resources Group, Inc. There are 855 OFWs working on that establishment.
The OFWs issued a written complaint alleging that until now after working for 3 months or more they still don’t have an Iqama or residence card, their salaries have been downgraded from 800 Saudi rial to 600 rial, they were forced to sign another contract written in Arabic upon their arrival to the job site.
They also complained against over-charging of placement fee. Their recruitment agency asked them to pay P14,000, some paid P18,000 without a receipt issued to them.
The OFWs who sought assistance from OFW Join Force-Migrante are Antonio M. Siao Jr., Christopher A. Vergara, Edgar C. Dato, Esmael C. Lobaton, Jed G. Vicente, Jonathan Dela Cruz Ilaya, Jovanni R. Sorezo, Miguelito M. Villanca, Percival N. Mapote, Robby Lucky M. Fernandez, Sammy A. Bachiller, Anwar Abdul Antoling, Raul C. Castillo, Christopher Babida, Abdulsalam M. Manamparan, Fahad D. Ibrahim, Rufino Lantes Jr., Borkiya Graciano Yahsin, Jonard Quino Dadole, Domingo R. Ribot Jr., Abdulmotalib Mama Salilama, Abdulla T. Kanda, Samer T. Badawi, Kamarudin P. Ahmad, Saikona S. Mamatos, Benjamin M. Esmael, Omar Adting Bangon, Rhonel U. Cuesta, Morad Kuwalo Ibad, Arnel Q. Pascua, Mohaliden G. Tanggote, Leo G. Safe, Mohammad I. Asari, Momar Limaung Janihim, Rene Dela Cruz Acosta, Richard P. Cardona, Charlie S. Tadeo, Rowel H. Ganeb, Nicolo P. Uberita, Deo Bryan Dominic Martinez, Marlon Sto. Domingo Villalobos.
According to Monterona this is not the first time his group received a complaint against M/s. Al Zahran and its agent in Manila.
Monterona cited a case of about 51 female OFWs hired by the said company last year as cleaners at a government hospital in Al-Baha, southeastern part of Saudi Arabia, who all complained the same malpractices committed by Al-Zahran Establishment.
“We note this company and its recruitment agent in Manila are notorious violator of our OFWs labor rights. Despite numerous complaints against them by OFW victims, they could still hire and deploy,” Monterona noted.
He added that the kin of the 41 OFWs will be assisted to file a class suit against the company and its recruitment agency at the POEA to demand its blacklisting.
Rivera confirmed that the 41 OFWs, to be accompanied by them, will seek a case dialog with Philippine Overseas Labor office (POLO) chief Adam Musa on July 5 and 6.
“We will be formally endorsing this case to the attention of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and will demand to probe the agency and its employer amid numerous complaints from the victims,” Monterona added.
“We would like to reiterate our demand to the Aquino administration through the DoLE-POEA to seriously act on the cases filed by OFWs against the abusive foreign principal or employer and their recruitment agent who wantonly violate OFWs rights and hiring/deployment regulations,” Monterona said.