Con­struc­tion la­bor­ers are ex­ploited

Newly es­tab­lished busi­nesses in Kur­dis­tan re­gion should con­sider the law re­gard­ing to hav­ing a day off work.

The Kurdish Globe - - CULTURE -

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.

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