A group of Filipino domestic workers was asked to take the job or leave Kuwait following their salary which is a lot lower than that of the amount written in their contracts.
“Take it or leave it” – these are the words of a Kuwait-based Filipina recruiter towards nine female workers when they complained against their reduced salary which is different from their contract.
However, instead of addressing the issue, the recruiter told them to just accept their salary or leave Kuwait and return to the Philippines.
“The reason we applied for overseas jobs was because of the promise of a higher salary. Even if we want to go back home, I don’t think it’s practical to leave. What we want is for the company to follow the provisions in the contract. We had accepted and signed a contract with KD 180 as salary. But for the last two months, we are receiving only KD 120 because the Filipino recruiter told us to take the offer or leave Kuwait. This means we’ll have to complete two years before we can demand the rightful amount,” says the female workers.
The workers also presented a copy of the contract that they signed in the Philippines before going to Kuwait. It says that they are supposed to have KD180 and another KD25 for their food allowance.
“However, when we arrived in Kuwait, they told us to sign another contract of KD 180 without the additional KD 25 in food allowance. But none of those contracts were followed – KD 180 salary plus KD 25 food allowance or the KD 180 one without the food allowance. We only got KD 120, and the Filipina recruiter told us to take it or leave. So it means KD 120 will be our salary for the duration of our contract,” the workers said.
They are also not supposed to be paying the recruitment fee anymore because they already paid a month of their salary which was their placement fee.
“No – we paid an amount equivalent to a one month salary. That was our placement fee. We don’t expect salary deductions anymore because we paid fully,” they claimed.
Teresa Olgado, Assistant Labor Attache, said that if proven guilty, people who are involved in this incident shall be criminally liable for the contract substitution as well as the failure to comply with all the provisions stated in the contract.
“They will be charged not just in Kuwait, but the agency in the Philippines could be held liable too. They’ll be closed down if the contract substitution charges are true,” says Olgado.