Third world workers are having a rough time in Dubai, considered to be the place where you can make quick bucks...Read here a report that Gulf Today published on April 27, 2006
DUBAI: Agitated over the continuous deduction of the salary for punching cards before end of work shifts, more than 3,000 labourers belonging to a major construction company went on a rampage on Wednesday evening smashing buses and damaging and ransacking the company's site office located in Mina Seyahi off Jumeirah in Dubai.
The enraged workers also beat up some on-site employees of the company and blocked the rush hour traffic on the Dubai Media City road for more than two hours. They demanded better living conditions in their labour camps and an increase in basic wages. Riot police and officials from the labour department had to be called in to disperse the protestors who allegedly damaged five buses causing considerable losses.
According to workers, trouble began around 6pm when they queued up to punch out after their day's work. However, a site manager's action of deducting a worker's salary for punching four minutes before time triggered the protests that soon turned violent. "First of all, are paid less salary and added to that is the deduction of the salaries for silly reasons like punching out early.
No worker would gain anything from punching out a few minutes before time,î said one of the protesting workers. He said that majority of the labourers earned less than Dhs1,000 because of low basic salaries and deductions.
"Even after putting eight hours of work in the hot sun, we are paid poor salaries. Most of the unskilled workers are paid around Dhs600 per month," said a worker. The situation was brought under control around 8:30pm when labour officials promised to resolve their problems after consulting the company.
Labourers belonging to the same company had resorted to violence early this month when they broke window panes and the furniture in the labour canteen in their Al Quoz labour camp.
When contacted by The Gulf Today Assistant Director for Follow-up and Investigations, Immigration and a member of The Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs Lt Col Rashid Bakhit Al Jumairi refused to comment on the issue.
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