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Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Old May 20th 2013, 10:11 am
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Default Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Doha News

Thousands of workers employed by one of the UAE’s largest construction companies are on strike for a second day, complaining of low wages and a lack of over-time payments.
The workers are all employees of Arabtec, which helped build the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Arabtec has a significant presence in Qatar - it’s the company behind Al Waab City and Doha’s World Trade Center.
The strike - which began in Abu Dhabi and spread to Dubai - is incredibly rare in the UAE, where strikes are banned, and is undoubtedly being closely watched across the Gulf.
Reuters quotes an employee of the company as saying that blue-collar workers are paid between $160 and $190 a month on average.
In response, the UAE’s Labor Ministry says that the company is paying its employees the salaries promised in their contracts, adding that Arabtec is also providing accommodation, food, health insurance and transport “at least equal to their salaries.”
As strikes are illegal here I'm surprised that it's being "allowed".

Anyone recall the sit down protests a few years ago on SZR near Defence if I recall.

Also in The National, nothing in Gulf News though.
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Old May 20th 2013, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Heard the report on Al Jazeera radio in Doha at 4pm ish. They interviewed an expert (Scottish guy) who made a great job of explaining the very poor deal the labourers get:

Poor living conditions
Passports sometimes confiscated
No access to the courts
High debt to 'agents'
No trade unions
Repatriated if they complain (90 or so a few years ago)
Khafir (Sponsorship) system, so restricted movement
Old laws enforced and new ones ignored
Arab-Tek links to the AD Royal Family
Prestigeous AD Louvre project at risk
Etc.

They have my sympathy, that labourers that is. I bet modern cell-phone comms, social media etc. will catch the Arabs out this time...

[J]

Last edited by Johnnyboy11; May 20th 2013 at 2:49 pm.
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Old May 21st 2013, 7:49 am
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Thumbs up Workers' Strike

I was actually wondering this a few days ago, what with the huge numbers of 'slaves' working behind the scenes, that when will they insist enough is enough and demand a better life. It IS after all every man's right to want more for himself and his family isnt it? I mean 750 AED a month? Given this region's taste for everything being better and bigger, how about giving a better life style or a bigger salary to the nameless ones who help prop everything up?
Kudos to the workers and I hope this story isnt pushed under the rug like most others of its kind.

http://www.7daysindubai.com/feed-fam...ail/story.html
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Old May 21st 2013, 8:14 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

If my employer gave me a monthly allowance of 350dhs for meals and then insisted on cooking me those meals himself, I would be watching every grain of rice like a hawk. Miss a grain and you get an angry employee.

They are entitled to their allowances in full and not skimped to increase the company bottom line.
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Old May 21st 2013, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=797573

I agree.
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Old May 21st 2013, 8:28 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

Originally Posted by Irishbeekeeper View Post
I was actually wondering this a few days ago, what with the huge numbers of 'slaves' working behind the scenes, that when will they insist enough is enough and demand a better life. It IS after all every man's right to want more for himself and his family isnt it? I mean 750 AED a month? Given this region's taste for everything being better and bigger, how about giving a better life style or a bigger salary to the nameless ones who help prop everything up?
Kudos to the workers and I hope this story isnt pushed under the rug like most others of its kind.

http://www.7daysindubai.com/feed-fam...ail/story.html
What surprises me is that the vast majority are from the SubCon and many of the labourers are Muslim yet despite the shitty treatment the SubCon Muslims look up to Arabs.
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Old May 21st 2013, 8:37 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

Arabtec are a joke of a company, more like a labour hire agency than a real contracting company.
Plus a lot of their managers now are Indian so its fellow countrymen treating the other badly.
It's not the first time this has happened to them specifically.
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Old May 21st 2013, 8:43 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
Arabtec are a joke of a company, more like a labour hire agency than a real contracting company.
Plus a lot of their managers now are Indian so its fellow countrymen treating the other badly.
It's not the first time this has happened to them specifically.
Upper class SubCons are notoriously callous .

What are the odds of labourers Unionising before the Qatar WC; on a scale of 1- 20 ....
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Old May 21st 2013, 8:54 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

Originally Posted by Boomhauer View Post
What are the odds of labourers Unionising before the Qatar WC; on a scale of 1- 20 ....
If you thought Thatcher was frosty on unions, wait until the labour force try to organise ahead of the jewel in Qatar's crown.

However, "labour force" and "try to organise" are not two phrases that occur to me simultaneously as I drive through the chaos of the Industrial Area every day to Street 40.

TBH it appears to me that the labour force are incredibly compliant, due to a limited education and a paralysing fear of being shunned by their employer before they can get the hell out of here.

Their employer is, after all, their mother and father out here and you can't wipe yourself without a NOC. And God help you if you fall foul of the authorities.
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Old May 21st 2013, 8:56 am
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Default Re: Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Devils advocate here. How much money would they earn at home?
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Old May 21st 2013, 10:01 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

Originally Posted by Boomhauer View Post
What surprises me is that the vast majority are from the SubCon and many of the labourers are Muslim yet despite the shitty treatment the SubCon Muslims look up to Arabs.
yes, almost all are subcons (if not all).
One has to look deep into the socio economic factors going on behind the scene to truly understand the mindset of anyone who would be willing to do this kind of hard labor. Let me give you an example :

Mr. A was born in the Subcon in a poor family. When I say poor I mean the ones who are living at less than 50$ a month. Yes there are very many of those and I have seen and met them myself so speaking from personal experience. Now Mr. A obviously will never get an education as affording any form of education is totally out of the question. Mr. A would want to ofcourse as a kid, but by the time he is 12-13 years old, he has been hardened by his parents / keepers that he MUST start earning for the family as soon as he can lift bricks etc. So Mr. A will find ANY job he can as soon as he can at any pay that he can. If Mr. A is lucky he will find a job at lets say 180 AED a month (I convert for your convenience) as a cleaner / sweeper / construction worker / bus conductor / security guard if very very lucky by the age of 19-22 years old. He either will live all his life within those pay scales and only marginally moving up in small increments every 2-3 years or so. He will know that he will live like unless he does something about it.

Along will come someone one day and tell him about Mr. B and that he is working in the gulf as a construction worker and he is able to send about 700 AEDs roughly to his family and has been doing so for the past few years and the family has started prospering and THAT is the game clincher for Mr. A my friend. The 5 time jump in earnings will move any man as I am sure if I were in his place, as would I. Mr. A will make some rough calculations, ponder a few days / weeks over it and then find an agent, get a loan if he has to since all agents are scum bags who charge atleast 8-10k AED to get Mr. A on a flight to the gulf (all inclusive visa, tickets etc). Mr. A will soon start sending back roughly 700 aed per month and HERE is the second very important point that I wanted to make :

The family, with the increase in earnings, will start getting used to that income and the ever so slight increase in life style. Hence if one day he decides that he has had enough and wants to come back, he really will be putting a HUGE burden on his family, economically, to have to revert back to the old life style and as I am sure you will agree, no one wants to do that. So needless to say Mr. A will continue to burn under the sun, hoping he never gets dangerously hurt or dangerously sick or never has a run-in with a local, and THIS is the third factor to your earlier statement Mr. boom :

The looking upto part is deeply entrenched. Its to do with religious reasons ofcourse as this region after all is the birthplace of Islam and Arabs were chosen for it. But the other main reason is that they just dont want to be sent back with a red mark on the passport and not be able to earn.
Life it seems is just about money isnt it?
Those who have it, want more and those who dont have it, just want enough.
Bah written too much and am sort of done with humanity for a bit.
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Old May 21st 2013, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Reminds me of this...

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Old May 21st 2013, 10:34 am
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Default Re: Workers' Strike

Originally Posted by Irishbeekeeper View Post

The looking upto part is deeply entrenched. Its to do with religious reasons ofcourse as this region after all is the birthplace of Islam and Arabs were chosen for it.
Absolutely right about the Labour, They are screwed if they come over here to work and screwed if they don't.

I think the notion that Arabs were chosen is from later Hadiths not from the Quran though. Surely a god sees all his creations as one?
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Old May 21st 2013, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Actually a very famous and certified Hadith says that 'no Arab is better than a non-Arab and vice versa'
I don't think it's said anywhere that Arabs were chosen (not that I know of, but I am not a scholar), I think it has just evolved into what it is today. But having said that, I myself have deep respect for the Arabs of Madina as they belong to my Prophet's city. It's difficult to explain, I guess. For me it's not a religious thing, it's just respectful, you know?
And yes it is written time and again in Quran that 'he who is better in Taqwa is better amongst you'.
So Taqwa being the key decisive factor here. I am not a scholar nor a well learned man hence I am not going to preach my version of it. Do look up the word in google and you will understand what I am trying to say
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Old May 21st 2013, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Labour Strike in UAE in second day?

Originally Posted by Irishbeekeeper View Post
Actually a very famous and certified Hadith says that 'no Arab is better than a non-Arab and vice versa'
I don't think it's said anywhere that Arabs were chosen (not that I know of, but I am not a scholar), I think it has just evolved into what it is today. But having said that, I myself have deep respect for the Arabs of Madina as they belong to my Prophet's city. It's difficult to explain, I guess. For me it's not a religious thing, it's just respectful, you know?
And yes it is written time and again in Quran that 'he who is better in Taqwa is better amongst you'.
So Taqwa being the key decisive factor here. I am not a scholar nor a well learned man hence I am not going to preach my version of it. Do look up the word in google and you will understand what I am trying to say
I kind of get it

It's a respect that has been handed down........Religion thrives in Ambiguity after all.
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