Asian diplomats have sought more support from the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) to ease the crisis over undocumented workers stranded in the Kingdom.
Their call came as Sheikh Saleh Kamel, chairman of the JCCI, said the JCCI was working closely with the Ministry of Labor and Passport Department to help expatriate workers rectify their status.
A website listing jobs for expatriate workers is also being launched by the JCCI with the cooperation of the consulates of Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Ethiopia and Egypt.
The consulates will provide the JCCI with workers needing jobs, while businesses will outline their employment requirements. Job seekers can log onto the websitewww.eoumdah.org.sa/embasslabors or JCCI.org.sa to find jobs.
Kamel announced the initiative at a press conference attended by a number of foreign diplomats.
He said the JCCI would only help expatriates who had entered the Kingdom legally.
The JCCI plans come in the wake of the Ministry of Labor’s announcement that 731,000 workers had corrected their status to stay and work in the country, while 74,000 had received final exit visas.
“We hope these initiatives of the JCCI will provide some relief to consulates and workers and benefit Saudi businessmen,” he said.
Abdullah Abdul Rahman Alolyan, director general of the Jeddah labor office, welcomed the JCCI’s initiatives. He also praised the organization for providing workers air-conditioned tents and water during the initial amnesty period.
Faisal Bataweel, a representative of the social responsibility department at the JCCI, said that the initiatives would solve the problems of consulates, immigration authorities and illegal workers.
Bataweel said the website would help job seekers find sponsors and jobs and businessmen and companies find workers. Job seekers can log onto www.eoumdah.org.sa/embasslabors orwww.JCCI.org.sa to find jobs. “The usernames and passwords have already been given to the relevant consulates for data entry,” he said.
The consuls general thanked Kamel; Mazen Batterjee, the JCCI vice president; Bataweel; and Nousheen Ahmed of the social responsibility section of the JCCI for the initiatives.
Indonesian Consul General Dharma Keerti said the consulate was still processing huge numbers of applications every day.
Bangladeshi Consul General Nazmul Islam said: “We are still facing problems at the deportation center in Jeddah which needs to be addressed. No one is focusing attention on undocumented workers which is a matter of concern.”
Philippine Consul General Uriel Norman Garibay said: “Only 532 out of 13,000 Philippine expatriate workers have been able to obtain final exits. We also have 500 mothers and their children waiting to return to the Philippines.”
Egyptian Consul General Adel Al-Elfy praised the JCCI’s efforts to help expatriate workers.
Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai said the Indian Consulate has processed 24,000 travel documents but only 6,000 could complete the biometric process.
Ethiopian Consul Sherif Osman said his country’s consulate was working full time to cope with the rush but the processing was a little slow.