Monday, November 17, 2008

dead line

Yesterday afternoon, the CEO of an American credit card company wanted to know the update of my work status in Saudi Arabia.

I was already halfway down the staircase when the CEO’s secretary called me back and asked me on my last week-end plan to meet my sponsor in the Eastern Region after my sponsor invited me to see him and get my Release Letter.

“I didn’t push through. The owner of an outsource manpower agency told me he will do the negotiations and get the Tanazul for me,” I told the senior executive secretary of the CEO.

After the update, I continued going down the staircase with Tim, who is accompanying me to go to a hypermarket to buy a cell phone for my industrious nephew.

As I descended the stairs, it downed on me that probably the CEO is now pressured to terminate my work with the popular international financial intitution after I failed to transfer my sponsorship to one of the company contractors.

With the Saudi government program of providing jobs to locals, foreign workers especially the rank and files in the banking industry are relegated to the sub-contractual companies that supposed to supply back-up, administrative or technical support to the permanent local employees.

I am supposed to be one of them but my sponsor has been nowhere to be found until three weeks ago.

I was so happy to hear from my sponsor after March 2006 late last month especially that he told me he has no problem should I want to transfer my sponsorship.

The limited time that I have, however, is killing me. I am given no time to go down to Khobar to get my papers. This is why I asked the agency owner himself to get the paper from my sponsor in order for him to transfer my sponsorship.

This has not been done.

When the CEO asked me for an update, I knew my deadline is over.

Two days after, ‘twas my boss’ turn to ask the update.

“Talk to them. I know Raeid. He won’t move until you push him. Let him give the demand letter and get the Release Letter. Better yet, spend a day to go to Khobar and get that document yourself,” my boss said.

Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries all over the world that practice sponsorship system to employ foreign workers. Like Hong Kong, Riyadh requires migrant workers to work only under his own sponsorship. Working outside the sponsor is prohibited by law. To work with another employer, one has to get a Release Letter and transfer the sponsorship to the new employer.

Although this practice is supposed to protect migrant workers, the system has become a milking opportunity to squeeze migrant workers to pay for their “freedom”.

Distressed foreign workers complaining of physical or sexual abuse, unpaid wages, salary reduction, contract substitution, no work, over-crowded or unsanitized housing accommodation, are pressed to pay huge amounts demanded by the sponsor aside from the bloated-from-the-regular government fees in order to acquire “legal” work.

What a shame I allowed myself to be into this unpeaceful situation.

I wished I was punked.


Mugen said...

Haay ang hirap talaga ng mga pinagdadaanan ng mga OFW. Sana ang susunod na gobyerno ay higit na mas maging concern sa kanilang welfare.

Salamat nga pala sa iyong get well comment sa aking blog. Lubos ko itong inaappreciate. Ingat ka lagi.

blagadag said...

I could imagine na kahit may sakit ka, yummy ka pa rin.

the spool artist said...

whoa, i didnt know working there is that hard and that complicated! glad to know more about it from your blog...

blagadag said...

thankso for reading my blog love. it recharge me in a way. my work condition here seems so detached from the whole world but knowing there are nice people reading my posts keeps me hoping for a better future. you blog posts also gives me inspiration as it transcends world and nature's beauty. i just know that your wife is an awesome make up artist. saw don's model and read the make up artist credit. well done. you two are such an artist. superb.