By Abdul Nabi Shaheen
Riyadh: Ethiopian authorities have suspended operations of five Saudi foreign recruitment agencies, criticising what they claim as "exploitation of domestic servants" by companies in Saudi Arabia.
Hussain Al Muttairi, a member of the Foreign Recruitment Committee at the Asharqia (Eastern Province) Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has downplayed the decision attributing it to the delay in the payment of salaries of some workers and some cases of workers being deported without receiving their entire compensation.
Al Muttairi told reporters that the Ethiopian authorities have temporarily suspended the work of these recruitment agencies. The agencies have approached Saudi authorities to help mediate the issue.
Al Muttairi said that the matter would be resolved and was provoked after an increased demand for Ethiopian domestic workers due to a ban on recruiting Indonesian and Filipino workers.
Currently Dammam airport receives three flights from Addis Ababa weekly with 150 to 200 passengers on board, most of them domestic workers, he said. Al Muttairi said the demand is still very high, with 20 applications processed every week. He blamed most problems on the poorly trained labour market in Ethiopia.