Filipino employees have been subjected to unfair treatment by their employers for several years, and they have no one to turn to.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office, on the other hand, sought to improve these situations by allowing these Filipino employees to report such incidents to their office so that they could receive immediate assistance.
POLO Urges OFWs to Report Injustice and Abuse of Employers Directly to Their Office for Assistance
According to Welfare Officer of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO) Atty. Llewelyn Perez: “Workers have the right to transfer or change companies so long as they have met the required years of stay with the company. In the event that companies refuse, we ask OFWs to report to Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) details of their complaints,” the Kuwait Times reported.
“We often speak to sponsors and find a way to resolve the situations and in some cases, sponsors refuse, we provide Assistance to our OFWs to file cases in Shoon and put the company on the watch list and that no contracts for recruitment will be processed until cases are resolved,” she added.
The statement was made in response to recent complaints filed against a multinational food chain for allegedly refusing to release employees after their three-year contracts had expired. Unpaid overtime, a wage gap, salary deductions without proper justification, overwork, and unpaid airline tickets are among the other grievances.
“I never complained about the long hours because I knew we didn’t have enough people, but the worst part was when it came to payday, there were deductions made without explanation, and my meagre salary was reduced to almost nothing. Many of the employees haven’t protested, but it’s just too much,” said another OFW employed by the same international food chain.
POLO and the Philippine Embassy’s Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU) have already taken steps to combat such violations by various businesses.
OFWs are asked to provide information on their grievances, and the embassy’s representatives will talk with the sponsors and try to reach an understanding, but if they fail despite any justifiable request, the Philippine Embassy will assist nationals in filing cases against the company or sponsor with the Ministry, and place the companies’ names and recruitment agencies on a watch list.
On the watch list, companies, employers, and recruitment firms will not be able to process any contracts, effectively barring them from hiring in the Philippines.
POLO officials are currently in contact with the multinational food chain company in order to remedy the situation and release OFWs who had previously been denied.
“All we ask is that they follow through on what they agreed to in the contract and allow the employees to pursue better opportunities,” said an OFW who works for the same organisation.