Thursday, June 02, 2005

Protesting OFWs may file money claims, says POEA

First posted 05:29pm (Mla time)
June 01, 2005
By Veronica Uy

THE PROTESTING 300 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the sprawling American military base in Camp Cooke in Taji, Iraq may file money claims against their employers and recruiters if their work contracts were actually found violated.

Administrator Rosalinda Baldoz of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration also told Wednesday that their recruiters in the Philippines could be blacklisted.Five of the OFWs were already repatriated, confirmed Baldoz.

They left Baghdad on May 29 at 1 p.m. Iraq time.On May 24, the OFWs initiated a work stoppage to protest excessive working hours and severe working conditions in the facility.An e-mail sent to by one of the OFWs said that their employers, Prime Projects International (PPI) and Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR), responded to their complaints by repatriating the protesting workers one by one.

"Halos araw-araw po ay may umuuwi kahit di nag-re-resign. Kaya po halos lahat dito ay pang nangangapa sa dilim at di alam kung papauwiin kami ng PPI/KBR. (Almost everyday there will be workers going home although they have not resigned.

Almost all of us here are groping in the dark and have no idea whether PPI/KBR will send us back [to the Philippines]," the e-mail said.

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