Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The price of a pizza in Iraq: an eye and a leg

This news report has appeared on the Yahoo Australia site......
It begs two question:
1.. in a Country at war why the hell are civilians being recruited to work as civilians in such areas.....
2.. What the Fudge is Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and others doing feeding the soldiers whilst at war regardless of the reasons for being there.....?

Do you think having a Pizza Hut MacDonalds etc in the Trenches during WW2 would have made a difference....?

Perhaps these are jobs the United States and Australian Politicians children could do...? after all they don't wont them fighting.....

But like all Governments they would they would preferr to send the poor into places of harm, paying them a pitiful wage.
Is this because they are not as worthy as middle class families or are they just to much of problem for people to care?
Unfortunately will the oportunities are there people with very little choice will be used and abused in this fashion.... There is no reason why if this trend continues they at least cannot be paid a reason wage, with medical and compensation included with in their wage stucture.... and a time limited placed upon the time they remain in these areas.....
If they cannot be guaranteed some form of safety and reconpense they should need be there...
The American government has a lot to answer for in this regard....

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Constantine Rodriguez had just fetched chilli peppers and was going out to get some onions when he heard the siren for an incoming rocket. All he remembers was a door blasting open and a loud explosion.
A quiet man from the former Portuguese colony of Goa in southwestern India, Rodriguez was working at a Pizza Hut restaurant at Taji, one of the main U.S. air bases in Iraq, when he was caught up in an attack.
He is lucky to be alive, said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Martin, the surgeon who treated him earlier this month at the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. Shrapnel took out an eye, pulverized one of his legs and damaged his torso. He lost a lot of blood, but surgeons were able to save him.
As he lay recovering in hospital, all he could think of was the new wife he had left in India when he went to Iraq last year, and the 7 1/2-month-old baby he had never met.
"I had gotten the capsicum. And I was going to get onions," Rodriguez told Reuters from his hospital bed. "I heard the siren ... What happened after I don't know.
"I don't blame anybody. Just take care of me and my family. One leg. One eye. What can I do with my family now?"
The Kuwaiti firm that employed Rodriguez, Al Homaizi, operates 11 Pizza Huts, 13 Burger Kings and five Taco Bells on American bases in Iraq, said Joe Petrusich, who runs the firm's Iraq restaurants.
It employs about 300 workers, recruited in Kuwait but nearly all from poor countries in Asia: India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines.
They are a small part of the vast army behind the army -- the tens of thousands of "TCNs" -- "third-country nationals" -- hired to feed U.S. troops, wash their laundry, build their compounds and clean their toilets, for salaries of at most several hundred dollars a month.
The U.S. military says that by contracting out tasks like cooking and cleaning, it can provide its soldiers with a better environment at a lower cost.

CONTROVERSY BACK HOME
For poor countries, allowing their citizens to work in Iraq has been controversial and often politically sensitive.
India has told its citizens not to work in Iraq since 2004, when three Indian contractors were kidnapped and demonstrators took to the streets at home complaining the government did too little to protect them.
But there is little a country can do to prevent its citizens taking work that pays much better than jobs at home.
The Philippines now puts stamps in new passports saying they are not valid for travel to Iraq.
Petrusich said the firm still employed Filipino workers in Iraq, as long as they have old passports without the stamps.
Al Homaizi is Pizza Hut's franchise in Kuwait, with 45 restaurants in that oil-rich Gulf state, where nearly all workers are recruited from poor Asian countries. The firm offers staff at its Kuwait restaurants double pay if they go to Iraq.
For Rodriguez, that was the equivalent of about $450 a month, enough finally to find a wife and start a family back in India after 10 years of working in Kuwait. The average per capita income in Goa is about $1,100 a year.
Petrusich said Rodriguez would receive free medical care in Kuwait, including physiotherapy and a prosthetic leg, and one-off payments totaling 18,333 Kuwaiti dinars, about $55,000, if he is finally deemed permanently disabled.
"I'm very close to these guys. I've known all of them. I know we do everything we can," he told Reuters by telephone from Kuwait. "It's just an unfortunate situation that has happened."

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1 comment:

GAY BIPOLAR GUY said...

My friend, you are not an American. You are not actually living the utter, dislocated insanity pervading this country. Contracting private food vendors to work the Green Zone is part of Bush's privatization efforts. Everything that the government once did is now outsourced to private firms, whose goal is to make a profit by cutting services. This is why Walter Reid Hospital, the largest veterans' medical/rehabilitation center, serves no one, and the government pays no disability for any disabled veteran. One, because Walter Reid is run by a private firm out for a profit, not to serve. Two, Bush simply does not believe that the government should shell out any money except to cronies and the war. So, New Orleans is still a mess after two years, and homeland security does not exist, except in name only. Most importantly, having American fast food franchises is used as proof that things have really, really improved in Iraq. To hell with the tedious and distracting human interest stories, if they don't serve a propaganda effort. You want sanity. You want accountability. Ain't gonna happen.