Sunday, January 13, 2013

Domestic workers in Bahrain

From Angry Arab's Bahrain correspondent:  "Thirteen migrant workers have died from a fire in their apartment building. Its is absolutely ridiculous. Their employers basically forced 100 workers to live together in only 25 rooms. The building was overcrowded and dangerous to live in. Since these conditions are "illegal" (illegal only on paper since most migrant workers live under these conditions) the public prosecution decided to open an investigation over the cause of the fire. Of course, most of Bahrain's migrant workers live in these horrible conditions and these fires occur all the time. The government never cared. These investigations are usually announced with much fanfare (especially this time since Bahrain is under the media spotlight - well not really - and the regime wants to look like it is the protector of migrant workers) and never amount to anything. The only investigation that amounted to something was an investigation of a docked boat that completely capsized while a party was being hosted in it. The owner obviously didn't follow any safety standards and let more people on the boat that it could handle. On top of that he was cheap - so all the windows in the boat was made of plastic. So when the boat capsized many people weren't able to escape and died - I think the death toll was seventy. Now since there were a lot of westerners on the boat (if the boat was full of indians no one would have cared) the public prosecution launched an investigation. The captain of the boat, who was Indian, was jailed. Of course he didn't even move the boat and had nothing to do with anything. Nothing happened to the Bahraini owner, a rich businessman.

Here's an article on the fire and the supposed investigation that will take place. Watch it get buried

By the way, many of Bahrain's construction companies are notorious for placing migrant workers in horrible living conditions , refusing to pay their wages, and taking their passports away from them so that they can never leave. The corporation with the worst reputation is the Nass Contracting Company belonging to the wealthy Nass family. I keep hearing of workers working there who commit suicide. The suicide rate of migrant workers in alarmingly high in general. Did no one think.. hmm.. why do they keep killing themselves??? Maybe there is something seriously wrong????? Of course it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's wrong. Their lives are hell."