12 February 2008

Don't like your Job, eh?

I know most of you probably hate your jobs. I hear the complaints from people day after day; people who want to leave, applying to other jobs, hating the work they do, complaining about their life and having to wake up every day, don their suits and drive off to work in the heavy stressful traffic. Whether it's a bank, company, university, or so on, work is tough.

I feel how you feel. I know it's tough. It is.

Sometimes your boss doesn't listen to you, especially when you try to contribute something useful,

Bosses reportedly locked over 1,000 protesting workers inside their labour camp yesterday.

and sometimes your office isn't great. Or perhaps your working conditions aren't perfect; maybe your computer isn't the latest model, and maybe you don't get your own parking spot,
on strike for the past two days demanding better pay, hot water, better medical facilities and other basics such as lights in the toilets

and through all that tough work, your pay still definately doesn't cut it. Right?
the workers were being paid a basic salary of BD45 every month, but it comes to a total of BD60 after overtime

Ah yes. Life sucks, doesn't it.

MANAMA: A striking worker pleads his case for a better deal through the fence after bosses reportedly locked over 1,000 protesting workers inside their labour camp yesterday.The men, who are working on the $6 billion (BD2.26bn) Durrat Al Bahrain project, have been on strike for the past two days demanding better pay, hot water, better medical facilities and other basics such as lights in the toilets. Meanwhile, in a separate strike around 250 employees at Mohsin Haji Ali Group also downed tools yesterday demanding better pay and living conditions.

One of the workers, who didn't want to be named, told the GDN that their salaries were very low and that they lived like animals. "There are no proper facilities and no good beds. We have tried repeatedly to make the management aware of our problems but to no avail," he said.

Another employee said he and some others have developed a skin disease by living in the cramped conditions. "Ten people share a room and the quality of the beds is pathetic," he said.

Sources said the workers were being paid a basic salary of BD45 every month, but it comes to a total of BD60 after overtime. The workers claim that the company cuts BD5 every month as air ticket money for the "protection against us wanting to leave mid-contract".

Company officials would not comment on record, but one official told the GDN they would call the police if the strike continued today. "This is illegal and we will take all possible steps to thwart such actions," he said. He claimed the workers were "paid fairly", but added that their living conditions would be looked into.


Woozie said...

Their labor camp? I'm sorry, "labor camp" probably carries heavier connotations over here than it does over there. I was thinking Gulags.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that you posted about this ammaro! The more attention matters get, such as basic human rights, the more likely change will come. I know changes comes at a snails pace in the Gulf but it's a start. I get sick to my stomach listening to the excuses of these greedy sponsors about why they feel it is perfectly ok to pay these guys BD 45 per month-yeah we could spend that on dinner for two on a Thursday night! It is modern-day slavery and it is good to finally see that these poor guys are no longer afraid of being sent back to India (or where ever they happen to come from) because of asking for better salaries and treatment.

I just wish that people here would grasp the idea that if there was a reasonable (not BD 100 even) minimum wage implemented across the board (non of this nationality based crap!) then it would promote higher levels of employment amongst Bahraini's because employers would be more likely to hire a Bahraini than having to deal with all of the immigration hassles and extra costs of employing foreigners! Sure, it's going to hurt at first but it would be a step in the right direction to solving Bahrain's "expat tsunami" or identity crisis!

Bahrain's youth needs to get involved, it is their future after all!

Evil Odd said...

Good on them!!! I was quite glad that they've finally come to realise how important they are to our economy. Indian labourers should be considered a very valuable 'commodity'! Once countries put the proper figures against the value they provide us, the Middle Eastern economy will start to balance itself (of course, after short-to-medium term inflation, and perhaps ...political unrest).

The main problem (economically) with them is that they send most of their income overseas. So while the economy sees value in their input, it misses out on re-injection of their salaries by consuming within the same economy.

Maybe that controls demand and restricts inflation... maybe it doesn't...What do you think?

On the political front - if these guys get paid more, and their jobs become more 'valuable and appealing', perhaps some Bahrainis will start to take up some of their occupations? ... (Okay, maybe I pushed this one a bit too far..)

Shionge said...

Excellent post pal and likewise in Singapore we have alot of migrant workers from India, Bangladesh, China, Philippines, Indonesia etc and they are here to do jobs that Singaporean are shunning so let's pay respect to them.

They have the world's wonderful smile even at the end of a hard days' work...so let's all appreciate what we have :D

Coolred38 said...

Im not sure how any member of the ruling family can stand in front of a delegation or camera and smile broadly while bragging about all the progress Bahrain has made....putting up a few buildings and paving some new highways doesnt mean a damn thing compared to locking up laborers and paying them a pittance...

I live to see the day when any member of the ruling family actually stands in front of a camera or delegation and says..." yes this is a problem in Bahrain and we would like some help in dealing with it...cause as far as we are concerned they are our slaves and thats the only way we know how to treat them...anybody got a better way...we will pay you a small fortune....set you and your family up in a villa...park a large gas guzzling jeep in your driveway...send your kids to private schools...then sit in awe of you while you explain how our slaves are actually human beings with dreams and aspirations and families of their own...and we will do our best to hide the shock and say "really!!!" with mouth agape and eyes wide open".

Shale bin Agnon said...

1. High merchandise and services surplus but a large deficit in unilateral transfers (see evil odd's 1st paragraph for deficit).
2. 1.6B$ on the balance sheet (not too shabby)
3. 40,000barrels a day and reserves are expected to last about ten years, and crude oil and gas count for 60% of export receipts, 60% of government revenues (taxes must be tiny), 30% of overall GDP. Ouch.
4. I read that the banking is excellent. Go Ammaro.


falantan said...

Thank you for the post. Its modern slavery.

moon-light7 said...

this strike was bound to happen one day, & why not! those ppl r part of this whole economic development in the country, why wouldn't they demand more. i mean 45BD?!! & no proper place to live! if they don't step up & speak, someone else should do it for God's sake!

Marcia said...

What a shame!

Anonymous said...

How do people not see this as slavery says a lot about them.

but many will not agree with us! they think a housemaid earning 60BD and sleeping in the kitchen isnt bad at all!