From: SHAH FAISAL KHAN <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 6, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Subject: [aijazahmedit] "Raids see businesses-restaurants lose SR 5,000 a day-KSA"
RIYADH: RODOLFO C. ESTIMO JR.
Saturday 6 April 2013
Last Update 6 April 2013 8:40 am
Ongoing Labor Ministry raids have disrupted the operations of several restaurants in the city, with reports of losses between SR 4,000 and SR 5,000 a day.
Recently, at least three restaurants were closed down, with two reopening soon after complying with regulations that stipulate that their staff have valid iqamas.
"What is happening is unsettling, but we have to do what is expected of us. The residency permits of our eight waiters are now being processed for renewal," a manager of one of the reopened restaurants told Arab News on Thursday.
"We will also have another sponsor who can provide us with visas so that we can hire staff who will work solely for the restaurant. In the meantime, we can resume our catering business because our cook is under our sponsorship," she said.
Meanwhile, many teachers who are dependents of their husbands have returned to work.
"I think the school will pay a SR 2,400 fine for each of us who are not under its sponsorship," said a teacher working for an international school, adding that she was not able to work since the crackdown began.
Parents and school authorities have expressed happiness over reports that the Council of Saudi Chambers was pressing for a decision to allow dependents of expatriates, especially qualified housewives, to work at private schools as teachers.
Filipinos who have fled their sponsors have contacted Arab News asking what to do under such circumstances.
"There were representatives from the Passport Office outside our factory the other day so we switched off the lights. They left after thinking the factory was vacant," one overseas Filipino worker (OFW) told Arab News.
Another sent a text message asking what to do if caught by authorities with an expired residency permit (iqama).
"My original sponsor asked me to fork over SR 16,000 for the expenses he incurred while hiring me from the Philippines. My current employer is willing to pay but my original sponsor does not answer when I call him," he said, also asking what to do if caught by authorities.