Kuwait-Philippines labour negotiations 'going well' following worker safety row, says Philippines FM

Kuwait-Philippines labour negotiations 'going well' following worker safety row, says Philippines FM
2 min read
12 March, 2018
Labour negotiations between Kuwait and the Philippines are reportedly on track, as the Philippines hopes to secure guarantees for its workers in the Gulf state.
Filipino workers were banned from deployment to Kuwait in February [AFP]
Labour negotiations between Kuwait and the Philippines that could see the return of Filipino workers to Kuwait following last month's safety row are "going well," the Philippines' Foreign Affairs Secretary, Alan Peter Cayetano, has said.

The talks seek to draw out new terms for Filipino workers in the Gulf state, where over 250,000 overseas foreign workers are deployed.

"Our negotiations with Kuwait have so far been going well but we need to put in place more practical measures that would ensure the safety and welfare of our kababayans [Phillipines nationals] working there,"Cayetano was quoted by news outlets in the Philippines as saying.

"We really must work with Kuwait to make sure we come up with an implementable agreement that would contain guarantees for the protection of our workers," he added.

According to the Philippines' ABS CBN News, the Cayetano expressed his hope that the negotiations will ensure that salaries of Filipiuno workers will be paid directly into their accounts, as well as an agreement that workers can file complaints directly with Kuwaiti authorities.

So far, Kuwait has reportedly committed to guaranteeing a minimum monthly salary of 120 Kuwaiti dinars ($400), according to the Philippines' foreign office.

Kuwait has also agreed to guarantee that Filipino expat workers are allowed to hold their passports and mobile phones, as well as have at least eight hours of rest per day.

Relations between the Philippines and Kuwait became strained last month, when the body of a 29-year-old Filipina maid was discovered in a freezer in Kuwait.

In response to the shocking news, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte banned the deployment of new workers to the Gulf state.