First Published: 2007-11-01

 
UAE vows health, safety crackdown after strike
 

Dubai threatens to take to court bosses who fail to provide appropriate working conditions to workers.

 

Middle East Online

Khalfan: ‘Dubai police will carry out inspection tours of workplaces’

DUBAI - Dubai's police chief promised on Thursday to prosecute employers who fail to respect health and safety laws after thousands of migrant workers went on strike over their conditions of employment.

"The bosses of construction firms which fail to provide appropriate working conditions to their staff will be taken to court," General Dhahi Khalfan said in a statement.

"Dubai police will carry out inspection tours of workplaces to check whether businesses are respecting the instructions of Prime Minister and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum," he added.

The police chief was referring to year-old measures ordered by Sheikh Mohammed, who is also emir of Dubai, to improve the working conditions of migrant workers in the booming Gulf city state.

Those measures led to around 100 businesses being ordered closed for failing to meet health and safety requirements.

Some 4,500 migrant workers, most of them Indian, downed tools late last month in a rare resort to industrial action in the Gulf emirate where strike action is outlawed and trade unions are illegal.

According to officials cited by local media, the protesters were demanding an unspecified increase to their wages, which are as low as 500 dirhams (136 dollars) a month, improved transport to construction sites and better housing.

An estimated 700,000 Asians, mostly from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, work as construction workers in the UAE, where only 20 percent of the four-million population are UAE citizens.

In March last year, 2,500 labourers rioted at the construction site of Burj Dubai, which has since become the world's tallest skyscraper.

The incident prompted the New York-based Human Rights Watch to issue a statement calling on the UAE government to "end abusive labour practices" and describing labour conditions as "less than human."

 

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Somali journalist killed in front of children

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS