MOROCCO

Kawtar, qualified paralegal, desperately seeking a job

Katwar, a young Moroccan woman, has been unemployed for more than five months. Although she was hired on a long-term contract by a printing firm in Casablanca, Morocco, she was fired almost as soon as she started working.

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Katwar, a young Moroccan woman, has been unemployed for more than five months. Although she was hired on a long-term contract by a printing firm in Casablanca, Morocco, the young woman was fired very soon after she began working there along with 20 others. The company could no longer afford to pay their salaries.

Katwar received no severance pay, and does not know how to make ends meet. She is currently surviving on her small savings, but does not know how long they will last.

“Our company didn’t give us advance notice and paid no compensation”

I have been unemployed since February 2009. I worked for a printing and PR firm. Our management clearly told us that because of the financial crisis, they couldn't pay our salaries any more.

 

I was fired after barely four months in the company, along with 20 other people out of 200 employees.

Those who weren't fired saw their pay checks shrink, as well as their hours. Management said they would fire superfluous posts and recent arrivals, but in fact they took advantage of the situation to fire those they didn't get along with.

Our company didn't give us any notice in advance, nor did they compensate us financially. People were afraid to complain because they didn't want to tarnish their reputation in the field and spoil chances of finding work elsewhere.

I'm currently living on my savings. I share an apartment in Casablanca with my brother and I have to pay rent.

I get no help from the state, there is no such thing in Marocco. There is an organisation which helps unemployed people for six months, but after that we have to fend for ourselves. I personally didn't even apply for this aid because there are long waiting lists. They can always find some excuse to consider you ineligible for aid.

I'm currently looking for work. I signed up to several job-hunting agencies, although I have some doubts as to how useful that is. Even though I'm a trained paralegal, all they've offered me so far are menial jobs like telemarketing. I tried this for a while because I needed the money, then quit because the hours are to constraining and the working conditions were so stressful.

Unemployed people in Morocco feel alone and vulnerable. We have a family, we have no resources... What can we do when we don't know if we'll ever find a new job? There aren't that many opportunities in the private sector, and it's no good even thinking about the public sector unless you know someone to pull some strings for you. There are contests for civil servants, with one job opening for 500 contestants. Imagine the other's disappointment.