Wed, 22 Jan 2003

Labor export to Mideast stopped

JAKARTA: The Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration issued on Tuesday a circular instructing Indonesian manpower recruitment agencies (PJKTI) to stop sending workers to the Middle East in case of a possible U.S. military strike on Iraq.

The advisory, which will take effect on Feb. 1, is aimed at protecting Indonesian workers abroad, the ministry said.

"If any PJKTI office insists on sending workers (to the Middle East), it will be subject to sanctions," Irnadi, the ministry's director general for workers' placement abroad, said.

Copies of the circular were addressed to heads of recruitment agencies across the country, relevant agencies and three associations of PJTKI -- the Association of Indonesian Manpower Service Companies (Apjati), the Association of Indonesian Employee Agencies and the Federation of Manpower Service Agencies (Himsataki).

Himsataki chief, Yunus Yamani, asked the ministry to be consistent in its policy by not granting approval to Indonesians wishing to work in the Middle East even if they already had visas and passports. --Antara