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Posted On: 11 October 2013 01:09 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Trade union delegation seeks action against manpower firms’ exploitation

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A delegation from an international trade union that was here has suggested that steps be taken against recruiting agencies in major manpower exporting countries that charge exorbitant fees from unskilled and low-skilled workers for helping them land jobs here. One official told this newspaper on the sidelines of a news briefing yesterday that there are workers who spend years here repaying the huge loans they have taken to pay the manpower agencies in their home countries. Taking steps to check the practice of manpower agencies charging hefty fees from the poor workers is one of the several key recommendations the Geneva-based Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) has made to the authorities here to improve the situation of migrant workers. As a punishment, companies needing workers can stop doing business with erring manpower agencies, the BWI said holding a press briefing. The delegation members visited several labour camps and work sites during their stay here and even yesterday and came up with a set of recommendations. The recommendations include ratification of core International Labour Organization’s conventions, mandatory establishment of health and safety committees in work sites, and creation of strong labour inspection system. The BWI, with 350 member-organisations in 135 countries, represents a combined membership of more than 12 million workers. The team of the BWI completed a four-day visit here and addressed a press conference at the Best Western Hotel. “After returning to Geneva, we will prepare a detailed report and submit it to the ILO, FIFA, major global construction firms and international human rights organisations,” said Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of the BWI and head of the delegation. “We will follow up on our visit and come back next year,” he added. The recommendations also suggested removing the sponsorship and exit permit system and forming labour unions. The team facilitated by the National Human Rights Committee visited several work sites, labour camps, held discussions with workers as well as with officials.