Thursday, March 17, 2005

Runaway Workers or Slaves?

Runaway Workers
Nawal Al-Rashid • Al-Riyadh

Private companies are constantly warning the public in the local press against dealing with employees who have run away without informing the employer. Some of the advertisements allege that a maid had disappeared from her sponsor's house along with some valuable items or a truck driver has fled with a vehicle full of goods which were being taken to another town. Some employers offer rewards for anyone providing information on the whereabouts of the runaway workers whose pictures appear in the warning.

What makes workers with a legal residence permit (iqama) run away from their sponsors after spending years in their service? What makes a driver betray his employer and steal a truck loaded with goods which he then sells? What makes so many maids run away from their sponsors? As we know, none of these could be called isolated incidents but such incidents, again as we all know, are on the increase....
Source: Arab News
Click here to read whole article.

Can anyone tell me what was the purpose of printing this article? What is the point that the author(Nawal) is trying to make here? Nawal goes on to state two obvious scenarios and then suggests that the "runaway workers" should report to the authorities. Why? So that these royal thugs could return these runaway slaves back to there abusive owners.

If this "runaway workers" problem has existed for decades according to Nawal then why hasn't the Saudi royals taken a proactive approach to solving it by now?

The Saudi slavery system does not even match upto the prescribed Quranic slavery standards. Where is the protection of slaves... err... "workers" in Saudi Arabia?

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