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MADLSA to help over 40 stranded workers get sponsorship transfer

MADLSA to help over 40 stranded workers get sponsorship transfer

Opadijo Jelili A
Doha
IN an instantaneous response to a distress call by a Ugandan expatriate at the first-ever interactive session between the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and African community leaders on Wednesday, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour at the ministry Mohammed Hassan al Obaidly has promised to facilitate free sponsorship transfer for more than 40 Ugandan expatriate workers stranded in a company (name withheld) without pay for over five months.
Obaidly, who expressed surprise at hearing the incident, said the ministry will ensure the workers get their dues and another befitting job.
He warned companies against violating Qatar labour law that has made adequate provisions for protection of workers’ right.
In his short address, the assistant undersecretary said the ministry is working on introducing a minimum wage in Qatar to ensure a dignified living standard for all workers.
He added that efforts are also underway to enable domestic workers to have more rights, freedom and flexibility to change sponsor and job.
Obaidly described the session, which brought together representatives of Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and Tunisia, as a valuable platform for the ministry officials to hear firsthand report of workers’ experience.
Answering some questions raised by the participants, Director of Labour Relations Department at MADLSA Abdulla al Dosari said the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior (MoI), has developed a mechanism to protect workers against retribution when they report their companies for misconducts.
Allaying the fear of those who might want to contact the ministry for help, he said no company has absolute right to dismiss any worker unjustly, adding that such workers can also choose to file their report anonymously to protect their identities.
Dosari said there are penalties for companies that violate the Qatar labour law.
Director of Recruitment Department Fawas al Rayes urged participants to educate their compatriots about the proper channels to seek employment in Qatar.
He said the ministry can only monitor activities of recruiting agencies in Qatar in accordance with the law of the land while individual country has the responsibility of regulating the agencies abroad.
Director of Inspection Fahad al Dosari said the ministry has intensified its inspection campaign to ensure companies and institutions are operating within the confine of the law.
Assistant Director of Labour Relations Department said plans have been perfected to open Qatar Visa Centers in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tunisia to facilitate smooth and transparent recruitment of workers.
Houtan Homayounpour, head of ILO Project Office in Doha, said the event served as an avenue to address some of the challenges faced by workers.
He urged people to trust the system developed by the government to protect the rights of both employers and employees, adding that Qatar has recorded many milestones within few years of labour reforms.
The event was supported by Global Unions.

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