Monday, October 29, 2007

Workers strike in Dubai. Will Dubai finally learn their lessen?

Life in Dubai is long as you're not an underpaid foreign construction worker who live in "labor camps". On Saturday, the building boom came to a halt as thousands of foreign construction workers flooded the streets of Dubai over substandard pay and deplorable living conditions.

According to BBC,
Workers blocked roads and threw stones at police on Saturday, prompting a government threat to deport rioters.

A fall in value of the UAE dirham means workers are unable to send as much money home as they previously could. (The dirham is tied to the dollar. As the dollar falls so does the dirham)

Dubai's economy has boomed in recent years, fuelled largely by a construction industry reliant on low-paid workers, many from South Asia.
Analysts say it is time for the authorities to consider a minimum wage.
and from IHT,
The workers, however, have complained about long hours, no minimum wage, harsh living conditions and no legal forums in which to air their complaints about management.

Despite the illegality of strikes in the United Arab Emirates, the laborers refused to go to work over the weekend and protested in the labor camp of Dubai's Jebel Ali Industrial Zone and on a construction site in Al Qusais, a residential neighborhood.

They demanded pay increases, improved housing and better transportation services to construction sites. Some workers threw stones at riot police that heavily outnumbered the protesters on Saturday. Ali bin Abdullah al-Kaabi, the Emirates' minister of labor, described the workers' behavior to the state news agency WAM as "uncivilized."
Not only did Ali bin Abdullah al-Kaabi call the workers "uncivilized", but also has deemed them a "national security threat" to the UAE,
He said workers were tampering with national security and endangering residents' safety. He said workers could have registered their complaints peacefully, but instead "turned themselves into rioters."

Those who damaged public property would be deported, the labor minister said.

"The ministry will not vacillate in taking necessary measures to deport whatever numbers of workers found responsible for such acts," al-Kaabi said on Saturday.
What will the Al Maktoum Dynasty do for her "uncivilized, national security threats who they keep in "labor camps"? Will Dubai finally get her minimum wage? Dubai might be the land of free trade zones, no taxes and increased foreign investment, but life is still deplorable for those who fuel her rise. If they want to keep those cranes moving, the land of the "little Big Sheikhs" had better start taking care of their foreign workforce.

Related posts:
UAE: Art Mecca...Abu Dhabi Louvre? Dubai Guggenheim?
U.S. Military renames Persian Gulf to "Arabian Gulf"'s all in the name
Can Banks disable your Car? In the Middle East They Can
Ever Heard of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum?
Dubai: Rising out of the 'fog' to claim her role in international commerce
The Dubai Tea Party: The Carlyle/Haliburton Show is Shifting into 'OVERDRIVE'

Same Players. Different Scandal.


Hadisha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hadisha said...

Dubai constructions are rising day by day in a very fast way.
Construction companies have many projects, and they cope with these tasks very successfully. Dubai property is a really profitable one.
But the question is do construction companies suggest their employees’ normal work conditions. It seems not. People have to go to strikes, cause their work conditions is so hard, salaries are too low. Construction companies have to think about it very carefully.