x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

New jobs offer to 25 unpaid cleaners

Some of the 84 cleaners who were left in an Ajman villa without water and electricity and unpaid for more than two months may soon find alternative employment, according to a Filipino labour official.

DUBAI // Some of the Filipina cleaners left by their employer in an Ajman villa without water or electricity may soon be working in other jobs, a Filipino labour official said.

Amilbahar Amilasan, the labour attache in Dubai, said a cleaning company in Fujairah has offered to hire 25 of the 84 women to clean schools provided it can secure them temporary working permits.

The women, who were hired to clean schools by Lavito Building Cleaning Services, arrived between January and April last year to find their original contracts had changed. Merly Perez, 42, said her original contract's monthly salary of Dh1,800 and a $100 (Dh367) food allowance, was cut to a Dh500 basic salary, a Dh100 accommodation allowance and Dh100 for transport in the version submitted to the Ministry of Labour. The women stopped working on September 14 after three months of not being paid, and a day later their electricity and water were shut off.

Four of the 84 workers have already had the court rule in their favour, with an order that they be paid wages due. Their employer has 15 days to appeal. The Ministry of Labour has already recommended that the women be paid Dh7,348 to cover their salary and benefits. A fourth hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in Dubai labour court. More than half of the women are staying at a shelter in Dubai.