Yemenis feel the pinch of labor crackdown

Yemenis feel the pinch of labor crackdown
Updated 07 November 2013

Yemenis feel the pinch of labor crackdown

Yemenis feel the pinch of labor crackdown

Yemenis are feeling the pinch of the government's crackdown because their businesses have remained closed since raids started Monday.
Yemenis sell anything from gold to fruit at markets throughout the country. This includes the Bab Makkah and Balad areas in Jeddah, and commercial areas in Qunfudah, Jazan, Najran and Khamis Mushait.
A source in Najran told Arab News by telephone that Yemeni-run businesses are closed in the Faisaliah and Khalidiah areas in the city.
According to Ali Mohammed Ayeshi, Yemen's consul general in Jeddah, tens of thousands of Yemenis were not able to rectify their status. He said there should be a special dispensation for these workers. He said 150,000 Yemenis were granted final exit visas.
An estimated 800,000 to 1 million Yemenis live in the Kingdom, remitting about $2 billion annually, which is a major source of foreign currency for their ailing economy.
The Yemeni community reportedly has the highest number of visa violators and infiltrators in the Kingdom. There were astonishing scenes in the border town of Altwal, south of Jazan, on Tuesday, when hundreds of workers tried unsuccessfully to flee from a detention center to enter Yemen illegally. The video of the fleeing workers were widely circulated on the Internet.
Yemenis previously had a special status in the Kingdom, with an exemption from having sponsors, which ended in 1991. They have traditionally always gone into business in the Kingdom.
Most unskilled Yemenis come from Al-Hudaydah, north of Yemen, which borders Jazan. The illegal workers travel to the Kingdom through difficult terrain. The police have arrested Yemeni gangs for various crimes including robbery.
Other Yemenis are from the Hadramout region in the south, with ties to the people in the Kingdom's western province. They run their own businesses and are employed by private companies. These Yemenis travel to their country through Sharourah near Najran in the southern province.