OUR workers who are contributing so much to the country's foreign exchange reserve with their remittances are often the targets of gross neglect and abusive treatment. Often the workers on arriving at their work places find the conditions or terms of employment much different from what were promised in the contracted.
The discrepancies can be in salary and other financial benefits or they may be asked to work in unsafe conditions for longer hours. The workers spend a big amount of money to go abroad in paying for the manpower exporters' fees and other charges.
If they are underpaid at their work places, then understandably they and their families suffer financial losses. This is also a national loss because the total volume of remittances could rise substantially if foreign employers are obliged to keep their commitments.
The officials in Bangladeshi missions are expected to be the main agents to try for and seek redress of the grievances of the workers by always dutifully responding to appeals from affected workers for help and pursuing the host governments and employers for effective redress.
A newspaper report sometime ago described in details the agonies of 116 Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia who have not been paid their salary or compensations since 2003. But they are being chased by the Malaysian police and meeting all kinds of adversities in a state of joblessness and no income.
Bangladeshi missions abroad must not remain content with mere recording of complaints or token visits by their officials to the ministries of the host governments. Every case will have to be very sincerely pursued so that the victim worker or workers can immediately get their dues.
The flow of remittances from our overseas workers not only help maintain a steady foreign currency reserve, it also contributes to alleviation of poverty at individual and family level. Thus, it is imperative to ensure smooth inward remittances by assisting properly in salving problems of the overseas workers at their places of employment.