Saturday, July 19, 2008

Laborer Beaten Unconscious!

Maids are not the only workers being beaten [and abused]. Reading this the first time made me go, "Oh, my. The poor man!" But the second time I read it, it was not so much empathy that I felt, but anger.

According to the article, a man had just finished loading a dump truck with sand - from my own personal observations, here, you can believe that he was loading that sand MANUALLY with a shovel and a wheelbarrow - power tools and equipment are NOT used in this country [there is a reason for this*] - and he was taking a break [probably one he is entitled to, by law - ha! - but never gets]. The supervisor started assaulting him for taking the break when Sudheesh Kalathil Parambil intervened and was beaten unconscious.

Were the paramedics called? Did the supervisor take the man he beat to get medical attention? No. "A good Samaritan" took the wounded man from "Khamis Mushayt in the Kingdom's southeast and had him dropped in the centrally located Al-Kharj, over 800km away." [800 kilometers is 497 miles! That's an entire day's car drive!!! This has got to be a typo.] A group of social workers found him in critical condition and took him to the hospital where he has been for five days.

What angered me about this, beside the fact that a supervisor beat one of his laborers to the state of unconsciousness, is that BOTH the name of the Egyptian supervisor AND the company involved have been withheld "out of legal concerns." WTF?!? What about the name of the man that was beaten? There were no concerns about publishing his name AND a photograph of him lying in a hospital bed!

Legal concerns, my ass. That is NOT what has prevented the name of the Egyptian supervisor and the company that employed all of these men from being published. The employer / company's name is never published. The victim and his or her photograph can be plastered on the front page of a newspaper, but NOT the perpetrator or employer. And, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why...

[*If laborers, here, were given power tools or power equipment they would complete their tasks much more quickly AND would necessitate a lot less manpower. The contractors who supply the work force of laborers would lose money because fewer men would be required. It all comes down to the mighty dollar, or in this country, riyal. That is why power tools and power equipment is not used - efficiency is NOT part of the equation!]

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