However, do the Filipinos – esp. a huge proportion of Filipino women – get their worth in compensation and treatment? I feel I’d not be the first one to say that they do not! Often they are hired for one job but the job-scope subsequently expanded, while salary remaining the same! Take the example of Happy: “When I joined here, my boss was very helpful, kind and considerate, and promised that I’d be able to leave office everyday at 6pm”, she says with a wry smile, but devoid of any complaints. “But I’m doing a lot more now, including accounts, finance, visa, supervising service technicians, office-cleaning and toilet-cleaning. Usually, I’m able to leave office by 8pm, but occasionally at 10pm. Only problem is that due to this I lose my car pick-up service.”
Or, take another case, as reported recently in Gulf News:
Salon owners allegedly force hairdressers, who are mostly women, to work long hours daily without rest. Some of them are even forced to double as cleaners. "We have to clean the place in addition to our working for long hours every day," said Amelia, a Filipina who works in a beauty salon in Ajman. Amelia said hairdressers usually sleep inside the salon itself.Each year more than a million Filipinos leave their country to work abroad , and an increasing number of skilled Filipino workers take on unskilled work overseas – perhaps more so in the middle-east. In many countries, including the Middle East, many Filipino workers find themselves oppressed, abused, their pays and documents withheld, confiscated or hidden. Some others, esp. domestic helpers, are physically and sexually abused, or even murdered.
Many of the cases (like 2 examples above) go unnoticed and uncared for, in between the hustle and bustle of our lives in Dubai; so much so that many of us don’t even bat an eyelid when we see such a case happening in front of us! Why? Because we take each Filipino worker’s services for granted! For us they are just like necessary lubricants to keep our lives moving at every corner of Dubai – ready to be disposed off when the time comes – when they stop looking happy or are lost in their immense pain behind their otherwise non-complaining exteriors!
Can we really be just, in doing just anything for Happy or any of her fellow countrymen… the unsung heroes and service providers… ever? I feel we definitely can give it an honest start… by just returning their happiness – in simplest of ways possible! I’d be delighted to receive any ideas on this.
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