Saturday, April 24, 2010

Indonesian "Slave" Maid.

For many years the news media have been reporting about Indonesian women working abroad as maid/servants being treated very badly or even brutally by their employers.

Very few of those poor women were lucky to be able to get help from others in initiating legal action against their cruel employers and got compensation.

The latest one is reported by Kompas about an Indonesian maid in London who has been mistreated by her employer.

I hope that the Indonesian government especially its embassies around the world, would always keep their eyes and ears open on Indonesian people abroad, and give help whenever needed.

Over claim she was slapped, strip-searched and locked-up
Indonesian 'Slave' Maid Could Win 750,000 Pounds
Jumat, 23 April 2010 | 12:59 WIB
 
KOMPAS.com -  A maid allegedly kept 'like a prisoner' while paid less than £10 a day could collect three-quarters of a million pounds from her employers, a tribunal heard yesterday.

But Yoyoh Binti Salim Udin had previously spoken highly of working for Lina and Firas Chamsi-Pasha, insisted Jonathan Goldberg QC.

She is claiming they made her work 16 hours a day for less than £200 a month and she was slapped, strip-searched and locked up by them.

Yesterday Mr Goldberg, representing the couple who deny all of her claims, was asked how much longer he intended to cross-examine her. He said he did not want to rush, adding: 'This is a claim that, if my friend succeeds, could be worth about three-quarters of a million pounds.'

Earlier, Indonesian Miss Udin was accused of being a 'shrewd woman' who was constantly changing her story.

The 39-year-old, who drank acid in an apparent suicide attempt after allegedly being accused of theft by Mrs Chamsi-Pasha, denied she had described the couple as 'excellent employers'.

Mr Goldberg suggested she had repeatedly spoken highly of them to her sister in Indonesia. She had also praised them to nurses after drinking the acid and medical notes showed her denying there was any 'ongoing problem' with her bosses.

In addition, she had said she planned to go back to work for them, the tribunal heard.

Mr Goldberg said: 'Did you tell your sister the Chamsi-Pashas were excellent employers, that you were happy and that they were good to you?'

Miss Udin replied, 'No'. When asked if she told her sister she was unhappy over the four-and-a-half years she worked in the Chamsi-Pasha's luxury London homes, she said: 'She never asked me. They would worry about me if I am treated badly.'

Referring to her treatment after the acid incident in February last year, Mr Goldberg said: 'Did you tell the psychiatric nurse you were working for the Chamsi-Pashas who were good employers?'

Miss Udin again denied this. But a medical note read by Mr Goldberg said: 'Patient states she is feeling well, regrets incident. Denies any ongoing problem with her employers, feels that it has been worked out. Believes she will return to work.'

He added: 'I suggest you are lying and changing your evidence.'

Miss Udin is suing her former employers for race discrimination, constructive dismissal, wages owed and compensation over her rights in relation to working time since she started her job in 2004.

The hearing in Central London continues.

15 comments:

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

It is disgusting, widespead in a number of countries and should be stopped. Servants? As you say these women are virtually slaves.

peter

loodec said...

just following your blog please follow back mine bali-deals.blogspot.com

Cindy said...

Indonesians as well as Filipinos are the races that are most victimized by this form of treatment. It is depressing. I just wrote a blog post a few days ago recognizing my helper's great work. I wish that all employers would see and appreciate the hard labor these HUMANS bring into their homes.

H. Nizam said...

@Peter,
You are right they are virtually slaves. Very disgusting indeed.

@Loodec,
Thanks a lot, my friend. I will surely visit and follow your blog ASAP.

@Cindy,
It is very sad that Indonesian and Philippinos have a victims of racial discrimination. The saddest thing is that the governments seems not to be opening their eyes and ears wide enough, although the migrant workers sent home lots of foreign currency back home.

umihoney said...

sad.hope justice will prevail.

H. Nizam said...

Umihoney,
Yes, let's hope that justice will prevail.

Grandma Nina said...

This is so sad. Thanks for bringing this more to the attention of people like me. Living in a small town in North Eastern U.S. I am so isolated from this kind of thing. I can't even imagine living a life such as Miss Udin.
I will be following your blog.

H. Nizam said...

Grandma Nina,
Thank you for following my blog.
I will follow your blog too.
I am very glad to know you.
Let's keep in touch.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Harry...

I am pretty sure that one does not have to leave Indonesian shores to see Indonesian maids treated as slaves. Let's face it, it is not uncommon to read in the local newspapers about young maids who are locked in the house of the employer during the day and mistreated in many other ways.

It is always interesting that a big deal is made about this when it happens overseas, but less of a deal is made about it when it happens on home shores. The crimes are the same, the deal should be the same in terms of reporting.

@ Kiwi...

Interesting that you think the practice of domestic servants should be stopped. In many instances maids are treated well, work hard, are gainfully employed, and earning a living. There are occasions such as the one that Harry is reporting where maids are mistreated, then these must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

However, to take the employment opportunities away from Indonesian women that becoming a domestic servant is, is taking away the livelihood of many millions of Indonesian women who in a great number of cases are the sole breadwinner for their family.

Nope, the practice of hiring domestic servants need not be outlawed, but rather there needs to be better and more consistent enforcement of the laws and regulations that govern their employment.

Megz said...

Wonderfull blog thanks for subcribing to mine. This artical is ver interesting and sad to think this goes on.

H. Nizam said...

@Rob,
I always long for your comments.
You are right there are more mistreatment of servants here, some even caused death or badly wounded, but only few are exposed.
Even if they are not treated properly as human beings, their conditions are very bad compared to normal workers, they work from early morning till evening.
Re: Peter/Kiwi's comment, I don't think that he is saying servant is the same as slave. He was actually referring to the mistreatment of the servant in London.

@Megz,
Thank you very much, I am glad that you like this blog. Let's keep in touch.

Angel said...

i guess thats the fact as most employer thought they already owned their maids knowing that they pay them. in fact, they must be nice too, as the maid prepare for their food and they might put something into it and they didnt know for their revenge.

H. Nizam said...

Angel,
You are definitely right my friend.
Relationship between employer and maid should be based on mutual respect among human beings. Other wise there might be grave consequences.

Irvan said...

that must be stopped and that can be happen if Indonesia's government work and overcome that problem.
But where is Indonesian's morality?
I have your blog and I hope you want follow my blog too.
nice see your blog.

H. Nizam said...

Irvan,
Thank you for following my blog on Google Friend Connect. I'll follow yours too.
I agree that the government should work and overcome the problems between employers and workers in Batam in particular and other places in Indonesia in general.