PALAU SEEKS HOLD ON BANGLADESH WORKERS

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By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR (Palau Horizon, Dec. 27) — President Tommy Remengesau says there is a need to impose a moratorium on the hiring of Bangladesh nationals due to socio-economic factors and language barrier.

Commerce and Trade Minister Otoichi Besebes last week issued an order temporarily suspending employment of Bangladesh workers for one year effective Jan. 1, 2006.

The president said the lack of diplomatic relations with Bangladesh is also compounding the difficulty in handling workers from the South Asian country.

Besebes said there are several factors that led to the implementation of the ban.

He said that in 1998, the ministry issued a similar moratorium due to a substantial increase in the number of Bangladeshi workers and cultural clashes and mounting social tensions involving them.

There are 425 Bangladeshis working in Palau.

Besebes said recruiters of some of these workers have also reneged on their promise to bear the expenses of repatriation if the employer is not satisfied with the employee.

"Unfortunately, however, these recruiters’ promises are not honored and many times a Bangladesh national arrives in Palau without the necessary or promised language or employment skills," Besebes said.

He said employers have to bear additional expenses for employees who do not have the required communication and employment skills.

The ministry will be reviewing the suspension order before its expiration to determine whether there is a need to continue it, Besebes said.

December 27, 2005

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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