• Fakeih:Eradication of unemployment our priority


    Fakeih:Eradication of unemployment our priority

    In this January 2011 file photo, Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, center, is seen during a visit to the a factory of Al-Zamil Industrial Investments in Dammam.
    GENEVA: Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih has reaffirmed that eradication of unemployment through education and training is one of Saudi Arabia’s top priorities.
    “Kingdom aims to improve the productivity of Saudi workers to achieve its development goals. Currently the Saudi employment market is open to millions of expatriate workers, who along with the national workforce strive to fulfill the temporary needs of various phases of the national economy’s development,” Fakeih said while addressing the 100th International Labor Conference (ILC) in Geneva on Thursday.
    In a statement last October, the minister estimated the number of unemployed Saudis at 500,000 adding that they represented about 10 percent of the expatriate workforce. Fakeih said Saudi laws and regulations demanded equality of pay for workers and violations were being dealt with resolutely, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
    In order to protect the rights of both expatriate workers and Saudi employees, a ministerial decision was taken to launch large labor recruiting companies, the minister said.
    Instead of individual employers, recruitment companies would sign contracts with a worker, the minister said.
    “The recruitment companies will be responsible for ensuring a suitable work environment for workers and to guarantee employees their rights related to their wages, health and human rights. The companies will be particularly helpful in protecting the rights of domestic workers,” he said. The minister added that his ministry is planning to implement an electronic surveillance system to ensure salaries are paid on time through banks.
    The system will do away with wage related disputes between employees and sponsors, as it will ensure workers receive monthly salaries regularly, he said.
    “The Labor Ministry will install multilingual telephone lines through which Saudi and expatriate workers can seek help and guidance from the ministry’s offices to solve their problems,” he said.
    The ministry implemented an electronic administration system in order to serve workers and employers more efficiently and transparently.
    “The system will be helpful for countries that supply workers apart from national workers,” the minister said.
    He said the government is paying allowances to unemployed youth so they can improve and make themselves more attractive in the job market.
    The minister stressed the need for ILC’s support for the workers from Palestine to ensure their legitimate right to work is established.

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