DOHA: (Agencies: 3l11l2009): To foster harmonious and better working relationships between the workers and the employers, the National Human Rights Committee-Qatar (NHRC-Qatar) held a seminar on “Workers’ Basic Rights and Privileges” to leaders of the Filipino community yesterday (November 3, 2009) at the Sheraton compound.
The seminar which was organized in close cooperation with Solidarity Centre-Qatar featured a lecture by Hala Al Ali, legal consultant of NHRC-Qatar, who expounded on universal principles of basic workers rights and privileges during the lecture.
Mz Hala reviewed a select group of Articles from Labor law in Qatar drawing attention to the fact that these articles apply to the private as well as to the public sector and other corporations operating both within a Qatari capital investment of not less than 1% of the total capital investment and also have their HQs here in Doha. She also summarized a number of legal tips that workers should be aware of before arriving in Doha so as to avoid buying work permits which could be false in essence; in this regard she stressed the importance of officially signing an authentic comprehensive work contract that states conditions including nature of work, salary, residence extra before arriving for work in Qatar.
She also explained that the law does not only protect laborers; it also protects the employer whose interests can be grossly harmed by careless acts or behavior by the employee adding that the word laborer in Qatari law does not only mean a blue collar worker, it also covers white collar employees including Qataris or non Qataris.
The also clearly states how disputes between worker and employee should be resolved. Another speaker, Boyco Atanasov, Solidarity Centre country programme for Qatar, UEA and Yemen also gave his lecture. Representatives from Nepal and Pakistan were also present to share their experiences and knowledge.
The Filipino Community Organisations Alliance (Filcoa) led by Flor Cabrito spearheaded the event which would give the participants a certificate after the seminar.
Cabrito told the Doha-based English daily, "The Peninsula" there were 16 officials from different community groups who had signed up for the event.
According to the source, Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Crescente Relacion graced the seminar and shared his insights on the main topic that was discussed during the lecture.
Cabrito said the seminar helped a lot to enlighten and increase the awareness among workers to improve their working relationships with their respective employers in the different fields of work.
The seminar was organized after a series of meetings by Filcoa officials with NHRC and Solidarity Centre in the past months that came up with an agreement to conduct the seminar to leaders of a large Filipino community in Qatar.
The participants re-echoed what they have learned from the two speakers in their respective organizations. Different organizations including PHASE, APO, PIKAQ, Ilonggo Beez, FFWW, ACQ, FINAQ, Infinity, RAQ, GMA 7 and The Filipino Channel have registered as attendees to the seminar.
As co-organizer, NHRC meanwhile stressed that this was the first time the Filipino community was addressed directly by the Committee. The Filipino community in Qatar comprises 47 Filipino organizations in various capacities. NHRC is counting on Filco to cooperate in teaching local language to its community member both in Qatar and abroad.
NHRC also pledged organizing a comprehensive training programme under the theme of its present awareness media campaign: "You deserve the Right but you owe the Responsibility"