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Govt’ Sanctioned Slavery

I have lived in Asia for 12 years now and have met, and actually know dozens of people who have worked overseas in various contract jobs for what is usually 2 year contracts. Most of them work on container ships, as personal drivers, truck drivers, bar staff on luxury liners, house maids, all menial, unskilled jobs…and while it’s true that these people get “jobs” and “do receive wages”…how does it really work? I mean, this modern is world full of various “do gooder organisations” who are all against the so called “illegal abuses of human rights” (all of which are very just causes and must be addressed)…but what about Govt’ sanctioned human rights abuses…

Let me give you two examples.

This morning I was sitting in Baseco talking to a young man who had just returned from 2 years overseas work. He works as an executive butler, which is a glorified name for male home help. He is married with one child. He works 6 days per week, 12 hours per day…but is also on call for his entire time of being there. He lives in the homes where he works, he works in various homes and sets up receptions for business mens meeting, he eats three different types of meals for the whole two years. His salary is 17,000p per month. So he works on average 72 hours per week, 288 hours in a four week month (not counting on call hours), therefore he earns  about AUD 1.47 per hour. To earn that he must live away from his wife and child for two years, come home for a month or so, apply again, and if successful he goes away for another 2 years.

So 1.47 per hour, no extra for overtime, is that slave labour? Plus for the first 6 months he gets half of his salary deducted to cover various agency and Govt’ costs, so for the first 6 months he earns 73 cents an hour, let me ask again, IS THAT SLAVE LABOUR?

Another guy, Joey, met him driving a taxi. He had just got back from 2 years overseas on a luxury liner, where he worked as a barman. He is single, so no family at home to support, late 20’s. He worked 6 days a week, up to 14 hours a day and earned a massive 3,360p per week, which is exactly AUD 1 per hour…for two years…IS THAT SLAVERY.

Now for many they would say this is not slavery, as the person has a choice. But consider the facts, more than 20 million Filipinos (not considering other countries) work overseas. They get these jobs through a variety of Govt’ agencies…so this must be Govt’ Sanctioned Slavery…we are selling our own people legally and patting ourselves on the back for providing employment to the masses. What is the least you would work for per hour…?

So, the next time you are on a cruise or on a holiday and you encounter a “non national of that country” serving you in some manner – TIP BIG.

It’s a huge issue and I don’t know who is equipped to deal with issues like this, definitely not me, but the Internet is a big place where everyone dumps their opinions, so I have just added mine to the pile.

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