Stranded Workers Leave for Home, 14 Offered New Jobs

DUBAI - At least 21 of the 61 Filipino masons and carpenters, who were stranded here without work and wages, have flown home after their South Korean employer paid all wages due and provided return tickets.

At a hearing at the Ministry of Labour, the labour arbiter gave the company 15 days to pay all outstanding dues as well as the air-tickets.

The remaining Filipino workers are expected to leave for the Phillipines as the company is currently finishing the required paper work. However, 14 workers have been offered new jobs by a general contractor, Bolim.

In another worker-related complaint, the final batch of three workers working for a private company at Business Bay Crossing and other projects also left for Manila on Friday.

But Reynaldo, one of the three who were left out when their co-workers departed Dubai in two batches, said that they were only given air tickets, the cost of which was charged to their last pay.

“We do not have enough cash to go to our provinces from Manila. We were also asked to pay penalties forour overstay.

“The company’s public relations officer paid the fines but did not provide us with any cash for our bus fare from Manila to our home town.”

Jocelyn O. Hapal, director II of the Overseas Operations Coordinating Service heading the Mobile Re-integration Task Force from Manila, told Khaleej Times that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will request their manpower recruitment agency in Manila, the Orient Placement Agency, to assist the workers to facilitate their homeward journey.

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