Personnel of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) who toured the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area to get first hand information of buildings housing expat laborers, most of whom are menial workers, say the housing provided for this category of workers is unfit for human living because most of the buildings are in a dilapidated condition, with sewage water overflowing and overcrowding in rooms in unhealthy conditions, reports Al- Rai daily.
Bad smell inside the room
The Deputy Director for Planning and Administrative Development at PAM Iman Al-Ansari said the current labor cities which have been planned are not enough and hoped the companies will respond to the need for the establishment of labor cities enough for all workers who are recruited by private contractors on government projects.
Flies on fish for sale.
PAM inspectors who converged on the area came across several irregularities as some of the workers had transformed their housing into mini workshops doing all kinds of works while others had turned them into small groceries, all unlicensed.
Al-Ansari said in a statement on the sidelines of the tour that PAM made in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh to check irregularities and violators of residence and labor law which had come to the notice of the authority and to ensure that the occupational health and safety was in place in accordance with international standards particularly the housing of workers.
She added the aim of these campaigns is to ensure a suitable and safe housing environment for all expatriates in Kuwait, especially those hired by companies linked to contracts of government projects.
She pointed out the campaigns have been ongoing on for two weeks and is in the third and last week and a comprehensive report will be issued on the number of irregularities that have been monitored which “We hope will result in addressing and applying all the standards of occupational health and safety on the existing housing.”
Regarding the actions taken against companies that do not provide adequate housing for workers, she explained that there are a lot of decisions starting from issuing the first warning, stopping the license and closing the file of the company. She pointed out PAM is more concerned about laborers who work on government contracts. She added, all inspectors are engineers and have the status of judicial control, so they are authorized to enter these dwellings.
Regarding the most prominent violations observed during the two week campaign, Al-Ansari pointed to the irregularities in housing, especially with regard to safety and public protection for expatriates in their homes, whether on roofs, floors or toilets. The final report will be prepared by the end of this week, she said.
Regarding labor cities, she said, “There is a tendency to establish labor cities. We have already visited some of the high-level labor cities in Kuwait in order to emulate them and establish large labor cities at the same level.” For his part, the Director of the National Center for Occupational Health and Safety, Nayef Tami, said the campaign, which was organized by the center, included Blocks 1, 2, 3, 4, 13 and 21, in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. As for addressing other government authorities regarding violations in the area, Tami explained that the matter concerns the Higher Committee for Safety, which includes several government agencies such as PAM, the Kuwait Municipality, Environment Protection Authority, ministries of Commerce and Industry and Health. He said 80 percent of the shops operating in the area do not have a license and 70 percent of the workers are violators of residence and labor laws.
Source : Arab Times0