Kuwait wants to limit number of foreign workers

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Dubai, Aug 7 (UNI) Perturbed by recent violent strikes by labourers, Kuwait is planning to limit the number of foreign workers of certain nationalities but does not know how Kuwaitis cannot fill in to do the manual jobs done by expats.

The government is considering measures like minimum wages but an online poll showed that majority of the respondents found the proposed pay of 40 dinars (Rs 6000) for cleaning staff as unsatisfactory.

Apparently, the government is aiming to reduce the number of Bangladeshis in their workforce, as they had earlier banned their recruitment which was lifted later under diplomatic pressure from Dhaka.

According to a security official, 850 Bangladeshi cleaning workers have been deported to date, with another group accused of being involved in acts of sabotage scheduled to be deported at the weekend, the Kuwait Times said.

The government is also studying the possibility of introducing strict new criteria for issuing visit visas and equally stringent standards governing the issue of business visas for Arab business people.

There are also reports that over 7,000 security guards, believed to be largely Egyptian, are planning to follow the cleaning workers' example and stage industrial action, although no definite date has been given for any strike.

Meanwhile, a number of political activists blamed the government as being solely responsible for the recent labour unrest. They said the demonstrations eventually materialised because the government never seriously considered tackling those very issues that have repeatedly demanded its attention.

They also slammed the actions initiated and the procedures taken by the various ministries and the government in addressing the unrest.

UNI XC PD BD1555

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