Dubai labourers strike

15 April 2008

Over 400 construction workers from Trans Emirate Construction blocked Dubai, UAE's Sheikh Zayed Road in March in a protest against low wages, reports Gulf News. Police were called to disburse the workers, who were demanding an AED 2 (US$ 0.54) pay rise. At present they receive AED 25 (US$ 6.80) per day.

Following the demonstration the men have been asked to file an official complaint expressing their grievances. They will also be able to choose five representatives to discuss the matter with Trans Emirate Construction and the local authorities. A Trans Emirate Construction spokesman said it had raised the salary of half the workers and is “planning to find a solution for the rest of them.”

According to a report last year by Human Rights Watch, migrant workers largely from Asia have resorted to public protests, strikes and riots in an attempt to draw attention to poor wages and living conditions, and inhumane treatment in the UAE.

In March last year construction workers rioted at the Burj Dubai site in protest against low pay and alleged mistreatment. The men were working for subcontractor Al Naboodah Laing O'Rourke on the Old Town part of the Burj development. Their demands included better pay, working and living conditions, including better medical care, and fairer treatment from site managers.

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