Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Over 50 Degrees...

I have absolutely no clue as to where I would find the labor laws for the Sandbox - but somewhere there is a rule or law that says when it is over 50°outside that the workers who would be exposed are not supposed to have to work. I have posted on the issue before. It has been very hot, here, this summer and summer is not nearly over... 50° Celsius is 122° Fahrenheit. If you are sitting outside under a patio awning where you are protected with some shade, sipping an ice-cold beverage, you are fine. If you are laying on a float in the pool - even though the water is 92° and not quite cool enough to be refreshing, you are fine.

However, if you are toiling in the hot sun, where there is VERY LITTLE by way of shade to protect you, and you are wearing a one-piece coverall that looks like this, which may protect your skin from ultraviolet rays, it does little to offer you protection from the heat. It is no wonder that "20 sunstroke cases in [the] Eastern Province" have been "registered." There are probably a lot more that have NOT been registered because these guys - the laborers - that are imported from other countries to do the work that "locals" will not do - are afraid that if they DON'T work - no matter how hot it is outside - that they will lose their 16 to 29 SR day's pay. [Street cleaners are paid, on average, 400 SR per month; other laborers which do not require any particular skill, are paid, on average, 750 SR a month. These men ALL work six days a week. Do the math. 16 SR is $4.28; 29 SR is $7.77. An entire day's pay!!!] And, on top of losing a day's pay, these guys are afraid that if medical attention were to be required, they would be responsible for that cost, as well.

Better to work in the hot sun and just lean on your shovel or your broom if you feel like you are going to pass out from heatstroke than to actually fall on the ground...

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