Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East

Return to research Posted on Oct 17 2010

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia -The Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS), an affiliate organization of migrant rights group Migrante-Middle East in Saudi Arabia, today said it received request for assistance from fellow co-workers of the 5 distress OFWs who were detained in Riyadh jail yesterday by their erring employer.

Eric Jocson, Chairperson of KGS-Migrante, said the 5 distress OFWs have been apprehended on Saturday afternoon at their company-provided barracks by local police after their employer has reported that they, 13 of them, staged a “stop of work” action since last week.

The five are now detained at Old Batha Police station in Riyadh.

But prior to this, the 13 distress OFWs working for Keytechnology for Furnishing Est. filed a formal complaints at the Philippine Overseas Labor office (POLO) against their employer.

“The 13 distress OFWs complained of working for more than 8 hours but have not been paid for their overtime, they were not issued protective personal equipment during work, and forcing them to finish their work or else a 2 days salary will be deducted,” Jocson said.

On 15th September, their employer came to their barracks and forced them to sign an agreement insinuating that they are staging a strike, but the 13 distress workers did not sign.

“Yesterday, at about 2:00p.m., 5 of the thirteen distress OFWs have been apprehended by police including Jerry Garingo and 4 other co-workers,” Jocson added.

KGS-Migrante case officers have already alerted the Philippine Embassy-Assistance to the Nationals section to look into this incident.

On his part, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, said the 5 distress OFWs should be released from jail, adding that “complaining an erring employer’s labor malpractices do not constitute a violation of the Saudi labor law; it is their employer that should be put behind bars violating their own labor law,” Monterona added.

Monterona said they already talked to the concerned RP embassy officials to represent the 5 distress OFWs with the local police so that they could be released.

“We will not stop our calls to the present Aquino administration to work or ink a bilateral agreement or arrangement on the protection of OFWs with its counterpart Saudi host government and other mid-eastern governments hosting OFWs in the Gulf region,” Monterona ended.

Written by: John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator

Saudi Arabia

7 thoughts on “5 distressed Filipino workers in Saudi arrested for filing labor complaints against erring employer

  1. chris rey says:

    hi sir,jst wnt 2 seek advc n asstnc wid u, rgrdng d problm wid my emplyr.

  2. John Leonard says:

    Dear Chris Rey,

    We are much willing to extend assistance to our fellow distress OFWs wherever they are in the Middle East.

    Kindly email me the details of your problem, my email ID is

    Thank you and regards,

    John Leonard Monterona
    Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator

  3. rem says:

    Hello sir john, i just opened this website and come to know that there is organization like migrante-middle east who extending help for distress OFWs. Kindly help and advice me regarding my problem here in kuwait. I will send you my letter just to find justice and freedom. because almost 3 weeks now that i was trapped by this problem..

    Thank you and God Bless!

  4. Vanessa says:

    Is anybody doing anything to stop the injustice in Saudi Arabia?


    How many times have I picked up the newspaper and heard about women and also men from third world countries being mistreated badly ,not to mentionl sexually abused while working in saudi arabia.I mean ,when I moved to Sweden and be a student and work here,I can stay here without any worries. I mean I know that if I am mistreated the law will be on my side. Why isn’t it like that in saudi arabia.I mean only because it is an oil rich nation doesn’t mean you can start treating others that badly. Female house workers get raped and abused and have acid poured all over their face and they can’t do anything about it.The frequency of that happening is just to high.Too high that I am surprised it doesn’t disturb any diplomatic relations between these countries and them.What the hell are the embassy’s for???What the hell are you doing???Your suppose to protect your citizens rights in a foreign country???One Japanese reporter who got shot in Myanmar is enough to start havoc amongst the two countries but hundreds of abused people from third world countries working in saudi arabia don’t mean a thing.Is it because we have greater interest in saudi oil to turn our heads the other way to the pain and sufferings our own people go through. We should be ashamed of ourselves!

  5. Rod... says:

    Dear, all

    Kung ang sarili nga nating Govyerno ay pinababayaan tayo banyagang bansa pa kaya?
    lagi na lng nilang sinasabi kung gaano ka importante ang mga OFW sa ekonomiya ng ating bansa pero ang lagi lng nilang nasa isip e kung paano tayo gagatasan.

    Habang ang mga politiko sa atin ay nasa magarang bahay nakahiga sa malambot na kama kumakain ng masagana naka sakay sa magagarang sasakyan, ang mga kababayan natin sa ibang bansa lalo na sa Gitanang Silangan ay patuloy na nag dudusa sinasaktan, ginugutom, kinukulong sa banyo, Ginagahasa, binababoy, tratong masahol pa sa mga alipin.

    Sana matikman ng mga politiko sa atin kung paano mag paalipin sa ibang bansa.

  6. muhammad yunus says:

    Hi John Leonard Sir,
    Instead of posting new incident i am also facing same problem, My Saudi employer is not giving salary since last 3-4 months, when we are asked to pay the salary. he had beaten us and made false charges on me and called police to put in barracks of police station. So now we 3 workers are in barracks of police station since last 7 days. All the victims are suffering from viral fever and infections so that all new comer in barracks also suffering from the same problems. when we are trying to contact from our employer no. response is coming.
    So request you to please help us and suggest the procedure how to get release from barracks and then from my employer and then finally return to our home country.
    We are help less in this bad country.
    No one is here to help us to report in my embasy.

    We all are from India.

    Please let me know if any document is required to save us.

    This indecent is reported on behalf of my brother.

  7. ferdie says:

    hi sir, good day! may problema po kami sa employer, may email po ako sa inyo sana po matulungan ninyo kami, salamat po.

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Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East