Sri Lanka housemaid underpaid for 8-years in Saudi Arabia

ECONOMYNEXT – A Sri Lankan housemaid who had worked for eight years in Saudi Arabia without getting the agreed salary had won 64,000 riyals (17,000 US dollars) as backwages, a statement said.

K Lalitha Ranjini from Ratnapura, Sri Lanka had gone to work in Saudi Arabia in 2009, and her family members had complained to authorities in Sri Lanka that they could no longer contact her.

Sri Lanka’s foreign employment bureau said, Sri Lanka’s embassy in Saudi Arabia had tried to find her.

In June 2017, the family that employed her had brought her to the Sri Lanka embassy.
Embassy officials had helped her file action and recover 64,000 riyal as back wages. Deputy Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, had handed over the cheque.

"I worked in the house for eight years. Though they gave me some money, I was not paid a monthly wage. I was also not allowed to talk with my family," Ranjini was quoted as saying.

"In the end I refused to work and they left me at the embassy. Embassy officials helped me file action and recover unpaid wages."

Several million Sri Lankans work abroad some as housemaids, especially in the Middle East.

Sri Lanka has a non-credible soft-pegged exchange rate and the central bank frequently prints money to finance government spending, and depreciates the currency, destroying real wages and investible capital forcing people to seek jobs abroad.

SriLankans also go to work as housemaids in the Maldives which has a more credible exchange rate.

Analysts and economists have called for the central bank to be abolished, its domestic operations department closed so that a fixed exchange rate can be re-established. (Colombo/June18/2018)





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