Kuwait to lay off 6 lakh workers

Thousands of Bangladeshis to lose jobs

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan | Published: 00:45, May 20,2020


The Kuwait government has decided to lay off 6 lakh foreign workers, including Bangladeshis, to replace their jobs with the Kuwaitis, according to a report of the Gulf News.

Thousands of Bangladeshi migrants who are both in documented and undocumented status will be sent back home from Kuwait, said Bangladeshi workers on return home.

Several such returnees told New Age that migrant workers in Kuwait were passing hard time without jobs due to economic recession coupled with coronavirus pandemic.

Over 3.5 lakh Bangladeshi workers are currently working in Kuwait, said officials of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.

Sheikh Raihan who returned home from Kuwait on May 16 told New Age that most of the Bangladeshi workers getting monthly wage of less than Kuwaiti Dinar 500 would lose their jobs by the new decision.

Raihan of Nowabgang in Dhaka had to spend over one month in labour camp before coming back to Bangladesh.

Raihan worked as a professional chef and an undocumented worker in Kuwait.

Asaduzzaman of Atrai upazila in Naogoan returned from Kuwait on May 13 under an amnesty within 2.5 years of his migration to the gulf country.

On return, he told New Age that he had migrated to Kuwait after paying Tk 8 lakh on a so-called freevisa service but he could not earn money enough to repay his migration cost.

Within one year, he became undocumented failing to renew work permit as his employer did not extend him cooperation. He, however, could manage job in the construction site as ‘supply worker’ but his job was irregular and could not get wage timely.

‘I could not find job about six months of a year and so I failed to earn enough money,’ he said, adding that there were many Bangladeshis in Kuwait in undocumented status.  Due to lack of jobs, many Bangladeshis were passing days in hardship in Kuwait,’ he said.

About 5,000 Bangladeshi workers who were stranded in the labour camps under general amnesty have started coming back home from Kuwait, said officials in Dhaka.

According to a report of Gulf News, Kuwait has decided to lay off 6,00,000 marginal workers and the country would apply quota system so that largest community will not exceed 20 per cent of expatriate workers.

The first step towards replacing expats with Kuwaitis, taken by the minister of state for municipal affairs Walid Al Jasim, has led to popular and parliamentary support, amid calls for similar steps in all sectors across the country, to get rid of unproductive manpower, said the report published on Monday.

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