A Filipino woman in Greece is claiming have not received their 894-euro (1.229$) salary since June 30, 2015, because the banks have been shut and limits imposed on cash withdrawals..
The woman told tsismosaonline.com reporter she needs the money because she support her family back to her country.
She claims that despite an agreement saying she was meant to be a “live-in” nanny, she had to live elsewhere, thereby incurring additional food and accommodation costs.
“I was paid a gross salary of €894 per month. Some €300 of that went towards living expenses. I was left with little in hand – and I had to send the money to my family.”
Figures released last year by the Philippine Embassy in Athens show that there were 6,465 Filipinos in Greece as of 1 January 2006. Of these, 5,616 were holders of valid residence permits and 5,115 were IKA (Greek social security) members. In addition, there are an estimated 40,000 Filipino seafarers on board Greek-owned or managed ships Some Filipinos in Greece hold work permits, including women who were often employed as care workers and housekeepers.
Trade unions have often spoken about Filipinos whose employers made them work long hours without being granted leave entitlement and with salaries higher of minimum wage. However, such people were afraid to speak up for fear of losing their work permit and, therefore, their right to be in Greece.
Maybe this will serve as an eye-opener for other Filipino women who have been taken advantage of
The woman said she knows of other nannies who prefer to remain silent.
“I think I may be the first to talk about this,” she said, adding that she decided to speak out.
“Maybe this will serve as an eye-opener for other Filipino women who have been taken advantage of by their employers.”
Asked why exploited Filipino women chose to remain silent and unquestioningly accept their working conditions, the woman said it was a mixture of not being used to being assertive, coupled with a consuming fear of being rendered jobless.
Filipino women are often unaware of their rights. The woman, for example, said she was not initially aware that she was only meant to be working 40 hours per week.
She came to Greece a few years ago as a qualified caregiver. Separated from her husband, she has five children back in the Philippines, aged between four and 20. “My job is very important to me because I send the money I earn back home to pay for my children’s education. I also support my parents with their medication,” she said.
Overseas Filipino Workers are considered to be the bravest people that ever existed in the world. They sacrificed being away from their family just to make sure that they can provide the best future for their families.
Fear of unemployment is what makes N., a 52-year-old Filipino man waiter at a central Athens hotel who chose to remain anonymous, reluctant to leave his job.
But for the past 15 months he has only been getting some «50 euros here and there».
It is rare for employees to demand their salaries, as did the shipyard Filipino workers in Skaramangas, close to Athens, who have not been paid for 18 months and hold regular protests.
Unpaid Filipino seamen working at the Pinelopi ferry, which links Athens with the Cycladic islands in the Aegean Sea, have also walked off the job since last summer.
"The crisis hit a job market that already resembled a jungle and was full of many abuses,» said Eli Varkala, lawyer for labors issues.