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Mon 4 Aug 2008 05:28 AM

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Kuwait gets tough on expat workers

Government officials announce new crackdown to limit workers from as yet unnamed countries.

Government officials in Kuwait have imposed a ban on the recruitment of new workers from certain countries, it has been announced.

The decision has been taken against expatriates from unnamed countries to ensure a "fair distribution" of jobs, according to Kuwait Times on Monday.

Bader Al-Duwailah, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, also told the paper that the government had declared war on visa traders and vowed to take stern actions against companies that violated the law in dealing with expatriate laborers.

Expatriates make up two-thirds of Kuwait's population of 3.2 million.

The minister also said the Cabinet will discuss today a proposal to raise the minimum wages of security guards to $263 and cleaners to $150 per month.

The new measures were announced following violent demonstrations last week by Bangladeshi workers who were demanding their unpaid salaries, better working conditions and a raise in pay.

About 200,000 Bangladeshis work in the state, mostly as cleaners and in other low-paid jobs.