Construction laborers are exploited
Newly established businesses in Kurdistan region should consider the law regarding to having a day off work.
Othman Hama Saeed, the Sulaimaniya Branch head at Kurdistan Workers Syndicate has said the lack of consistency in most of the construction projects in Kurdistan region has exploited construction laborers. Working as a construction worker is considered as one of the most physically challenging and tiring work in the region, since workers are forced to work continually without having off days.
‘Friday is an off day in Kurdistan according to the law, but businesspeople don’t care about off days. Many workers are obliged to work on Fridays,’ noted Hama Saeed. Even if some workers wanted to change these conditions, the economic situation does not allow them to take the chance because one worker might refuse to work on ‘off days’ but another unemployed individual would offer to do that work. Consequently, the issue is with the lack of legal measures taken against businesspeople who are exploiting laborers without giving them a day off to rest, and be with their family.
Hama Saeed's comments come after three construc- tion workers died and another injured in an accident while working in a housing project in Suleimaniya province. Based on statistical data released by reporters, six workers have died during working in Suleimaniya province in 2013.
Hama Saeed also said "The businesspeople have been asked many times to not force laborers to work on Fridays, but they want their projects completed as soon as possible. Since many projects aren't completed on time, the businesspeople force workers to work for the most amount of time with no off days in order to avoid their projects being delayed for a long period of time" He divulged.
It is important for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to take steps in ensuring that workers rights are not violated by businesspeople who show concern regarding their projects, and not workers. There must a enshrined set of rights that workers can refer to if their rights are violated, and even use in a court of law to prosecute those that have violated their rights.
This picture shows Kurdish construction workers during working in Suleimaniya city.