Thursday, May 01, 2008

Foreign workers: the hard truth

By Juan Mercado
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE NEW PORT OF CHOICE: The rice and fuel crunch hogs the headlines and evening news for now. But over the long pull, below-the-surface shifts in demography, economics and policy will drive more Filipino and other Asian workers to crisscross the region for new jobs.

Asia has now fielded 54.2 million migrants, a University of Sussex study estimates. Half of these were workers, and “the Philippines sent the largest number.”

Since the mid-1980s, however, growing numbers of migrant have turned inwards, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) points out. “There is now burgeoning international migration within Asia itself.” here

FOREIGN WORKER TRAPPED IN A "no win"SITUATION. Twenty per cent of Malaysia's workforce are foreign workers. But what happens when a foreign worker is exploited?

Their rightful redress is the Labour Court, but in reality, this avenue is not one of justice for foreign workers.

Bar Council Legal Aid Centre chairman Ravi Nekoo said that while the law allows a foreign worker to stay in the country pending the disposal of his case, the worker is without a job.

MALAYSIA WANTS TO END RELIANCE ON FOREIGN WORKERS: Malaysia is appealing for help from employers to end the reliance on legal and illegal foreign workers in the country, where numbers have topped three million, reports said Wednesday.

The move comes after a decision earlier this year to send home up to 500,000 legal foreign workers by 2009 in a bid to force employers to hire locals.

"We want the demand for foreigners totally scrapped, that is our aim," home minister Syed Hamid Albar told the Star daily.

"We need cooperation from those who are seeking workers," he added, saying there were three million foreign workers in Malaysia here