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Old December 13th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Illegal Workers at Construction Sites

In places where low-skilled labours are hard to come by, contractors may hire illegal aliens to work in construction sites. Is this a problem in your city?

Belgian police raid EU building construction site to check for illegal workers
12 December 2006

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Belgian police raided a European Union building construction site Tuesday to check for illegal workers.

Police spokesman Christian De Coninck said 15 workers were detained and taken away for questioning after the morning raid at the 14-story building, situated in the Belgian-capital's EU quarter, just across from the headquarters of the European Commission.

"We have a lot of puzzling to do, to find out who is who in this building, because there are contractors and subcontractors," De Coninck said.

Around 200 police officers were involved in the action, along with police dogs and 20 vehicles. It was not known how many workers were at the site at the time of the raid.

The raid seemed to be a regular inspection under Belgian social and employment rules to ensure no illegal workers were on site, said Dominique-Georges Marro, spokesman of the EU's Council of Ministers. He added his EU institution was "not involved" at all in the raid, nor did it currently own the building, which is slated to be completed in 2007. It is to house 1,300 translators.

"Our agreement is to buy it when it is completed," Marro said. The building is currently owned by a private consortium, he said.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #2
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There are probably a number illegal workers on the Burj Dubai alone.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #3
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There are tons of illegal workers in florida really i dont care.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #4
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sometimes things are wrong, but you know....have compassion for people...they have families to tend to.....nobody wants to be at the bottom of society, nobody chooses to be poor.
nobody wants to be born ugly, but some of us we have no choice hehe
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Old December 14th, 2006, 03:51 AM   #5
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Back in the 1980s and 1990s, contractors used to 'import' lots of illegal aliens (IA's) to work in Hong Kong's construction sites. Then on pay day, they will call the immigration department to do an IA sweep. The IA's will either flee or get arrested, and the contractor doesn't need to pay them at all. Then the cycle repeats itself.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 01:53 PM   #6
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Asian workers race against clock to avoid prison

DUBAI, June 30, 2007 (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of Asians, often working in pitiless heat and now facing the threat of prison, are racing against time to "get legal" -- find work permits or leave the United Arab Emirates within a three-month government deadline.

The labour ministry has officially put the number of clandestine immigrants at 350,000, of whom nearly 250,000 have left their employers, saying they had been mistreated or exploited or had their contracts broken.

The others are either "visitors" who don't want to leave, or "infiltrators" who have slipped in from neighbouring countries.

They have one desire in common -- not to leave the country, and prefer to work illegally, offering their services to whoever will pay the best in an oil-rich country where they are viewed as cheap labour.

Most too are up to their necks in debt, to the agency who recruited them and for their travel costs to the UAE.

Raju is typical. He told AFP he would prefer to commit suicide rather than return to his home, the Indian state of Rajasthan, where he owes the agency money and can't even move back into his house which he rented out to try to make ends meet.

While there are no exact figures, suicides are not uncommon among Asian immigrants when their jobs disappear or collapse in dispute, and they face the shame of returning home empty-handed.

For the men, hanging themselves from the ventilator in their collective work cabin or jumping from one of the high-rise building, appears the most common way out, while women go for a strong dose of detergent.

Raju and thousands of other immigrants have until September 2 to "regularise their situation in conformity with the law" -- in other words, find a job and a sponsor enabling them to obtain the precious residence permit, or leave the country legally.

After that, if they are caught still here and operating illegally they face up to 10 years in prison, followed by deportation.

Those employing them risk a month in jail and a fine of some 13,600 dollars, while someone hiding an "illegal" faces two months behind bars and a fine twice as heavy.

In 2003, around 100,000 illegal workers left the UAE under a six-month amnesty. Nonetheless, the authorities later announced that 40,000 illegal workers were arrested after that amnesty deadline expired.

Around 80 percent of the 4.1 million inhabitants of the UAE are expatriates, mainly from Asian countries, attracted to the UAE to work mainly as low-paid labourers and domestic workers.

The biggest group, estimated at 1.2 million, comes from India.

To try to move away from the reliance on foreign labour, the UAE has for several years undertaken a process of "Emiratisation," with companies being told to employ a set quota of Emirati nationals.

The process has, however, been slow and problematic.

One man seeking advice this month at one of the 12 help centres set up by the Indian embassy in six of the seven emirates forming the UAE, said he had worked for the government in Dubai for 35 years. He then lost his job because of the decree to take on more local people.

Since then, said Mohammed, he has been in the country illegally for 10 months.

"The 35 years I spent in Dubai have not benefited me at all and I now have to reserve a one-way ticket back to India," he said.

The latest amnesty is described as a "golden opportunity" for illegals to return home or try to get a work permit with the help of their national embassies.

"Around 300 Indians in an illegal situation turn up each day to the 'Indian High School' where volunteers from various Indian states are working to help their compatriots, who are mainly illiterate, to complete forms to pass to the Immigration Department," Minafi Ghandi, a volunteer, told AFP.

As Ghani spoke, a badly-hurt man named Palani limped in to the Indian High School, supported by a sympathetic compatriot.

Palani's lined face was etched with pain, his skin burnt by the sun, his chest covered in barely healed scars, and his legs hardly able to support him. His whispered explanation, in tamil, was that he "fell from a building under construction."

"An urgent case. He must be repatriated immediately," said the volunteer.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #7
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Illegal workers issue stymies European Union
24 July 2008

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - European Union nations made little progress Thursday on a plan to introduce an Europe-wide crackdown on illegal workers and on employers that hire them or abuse their rights.

Germany, Sweden and Poland led a group of seven EU nations critical of the proposal at talks by justice and interior ministers here that debated the issue.

They all argued the plan would do little to bolster national efforts to hunt down human trafficking and mobs that bring in highly prized cheap labor into the 27-nation bloc.

The rules, if approved in the coming months, also could spell the end of cheap labor for farmers, or individuals who illegally employ seasonal workers, nannies or cleaners, without paying taxes or social security charges on their wages.

Justice Minister Tobias Billstroem of Sweden said the EU as an organization did not have the power to recommend criminal penalties and should leave it up to member states to decide how best to deter the exploitation of illegal workers and Europe's vast shadow economy.

Plans are under way to introduce an EU law that would set standard minimum criminal penalties such as jail time or fines against employers that hire illegals. The plan also calls for countries to carry out a minimum number of inspections and checks at job sites, a quota France, as EU president, is pushing hard for.

"If we are to combat this phenomenon effectively, it will not just depend on sanctions, it will depend on people's political will to implement those sanctions in practice," said Brice Hortefeux, France's immigration minister who chaired the talks.

Hortefeux said at least 5 percent of national job sites and business should face inspections every year.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was better to carry out random spot checks and raids rather than pricier across-the-board inspections.

"We are convinced that introducing a quota may include the possibility of carrying out controls just for the sake of meeting the quota," Schaeuble said.

European nations are struggling with the arrival of up to half a million illegal immigrants a year, brought in by human trafficking rings run by organized crime.

The European Commission estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in the 27-nation EU stands at between 4.5 million and 8 million, and says that between 7 and 16 percent of the EU's gross domestic product comes from the shadow economy.

Currently, lax rules in many EU nations have drawn in cheap illegal labor for manual jobs in the construction, farm and service economy that many Europeans do not want. They often result in slave-like conditions for the workers EU officials have said.

EU officials have suggested fines levied on employers that hire illegals could include the costs of returning the immigrants to their home country and repaying outstanding wages, taxes and social security contributions. They also suggested companies that employ illegals should be cut from EU funding for businesses that work on public contracts.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #8
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Old October 26th, 2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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Their are many Illigal workers in Iran,most af them are from afganistan and Turkey
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