Iftekhar flies to Kuwait today
Wednesday, 03 September 2008

Workers issues

Staff Correspondent

Foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury leaves for Kuwait Wednesday on a two-day official visit to meet Kuwaiti officials over Bangladeshi workers' problems.

"I will meet Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Sabah Al- Salem Al Sabah, deputy prime minister Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah and other senior officials of the ministries of labour and interior," Iftekhar told bdnews24.com Tuesday.
"Among the issues of discussion will be those pertaining to Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait and also broad economic and political cooperation between Bangladesh and Kuwait," Iftekhar said.
The adviser said he would also meet Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait and urge them to abide by the law of the land.
Thousands of foreign workers including Bangladeshis in July took to the streets demanding pay hikes and better working conditions.
The Kuwaiti government tortured the agitating workers, who used to get in some cases Tk 2000 per month, and deported them on charges of violating local laws.
According to the government figures, the Kuwaiti government deported some 1,250 Bangladeshi workers for the demonstration.
Demonstrations and work abstention are prohibited in the Gulf state.
The foreign adviser, following the labour unrest, had telephoned three Kuwait ministers and sought their assistance in resolving the problems.
The Kuwait ministers invited him to visit the gulf state to discuss labour and other bilateral issues.
Some 1,50000 Bangladeshis, mainly unskilled workers, are engaged in odd jobs such as cleaning and sweeping in Kuwait.
Allegations are there that local employers do not pay the workers regularly and torture them if they protest.

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