Saturday, June 18, 2005

Domestic work is an international market :: Arab News

Saudi Arabia is home to some 350,000 Sri Lankans, of whom 250,000 are maids.
. . .
According to an announcement made Thursday by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh, the minimum wage set for domestic aides, effective from July 1, shall be $150 per month as against the current $100. . . .The new salary structure is being implemented on a proposal made by the country’s Labor Minister Athauda Senevirathne who said most Sri Lankan workers in the Middle East have been receiving a monthly pay of $100 for over 18 years.
. . .
If Sri Lanka insists on the new salary scale, the chairman said, the Kingdom would be “reluctantly compelled” to turn to countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines for recruitment of maids. “No country is indispensable in this trade. The market is wide open,” he added.
. . .
The Lankan mission here receives some 40 runaway maids daily, of whom 50 percent are handed over by the government-run Women’s Welfare Center for repatriation.

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