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."

 

UN envoy in Moscow to save Syrian truce

UN envoy seeks to restart Yemen peace talks

Iraq reform process in limbo after Green Zone storming

US soldier feared killed in Iraq’s Kurdistan

Saudi Minister 'not satisfied' with level of female employment

OPCW warns ISIS may be making chemical weapons

French court says 'Carlos the Jackal' must face trial for 1974 attack

UN demands protection of hospitals in armed conflicts

Jewish settler who led burning alive of Palestinian teen receives life sentence

Italy ready to raise shipwreck off Libya coast

Heavy airstrikes kill dozens in ISIS Syria bastion

Deadly intra-rebel clashes rock eastern part of Syria capital

German 'jihadist' goes on trial for Syria war crimes

Number of people held in solitary confinement doubles in Israel

UN fears operation near Mosul will displace 30,000 more Iraqis

Turkey Nobel Laureate shows solidarity with veteran writer, Murat Belge

Russian FM hopes for Aleppo ceasefire in 'next few hours'

Israel Labour mulls break with British party over anti-Semitism claims

Saudi to ensure Binladin Group resolves wage issues

Tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims flock to Baghdad shrine

EU set to grant Turkey visa-free travel in migrant deal

Syria rebels strike hospital in regime-held Aleppo

Israel destroys home of Palestinian suspect's family

Saudi women to get copy of marriage contracts

EU praises Turkey efforts to meet criteria for visa deal

Sudan claims 'sovereign rights' in dispute with Egypt

Amnesty denounces ‘shocking’ conditions in Iraq detention centre

Carnage in Iraq as deadly car bomb targets Shiite pilgrims

PKK attack kills at least one soldier in southeast Turkey

Turkey pounds ISIS positions in Syria

Five years on, bin Laden doctor languishes in jail

Top Sudan court lifts ban on leading newspaper

Iran to grant citizenship to families of killed foreign recruits

Egypt journalists hold sit-in after police raid of press syndicate

US in desperate bid to salvage Syria ceasefire

Iraq protesters quit Green Zone after unprecedented breach

Up to 100 people missing in two Mediterranean shipwrecks

Aden police chief survives new assassination attempt

ISIS claims rare deadly bombings in southern Iraq

Tight security marks world rallies to celebrate Labour Day

Yemen government suspends 'direct' talks with rebels

Russia, US in bids to freeze fighting in Syria's Aleppo

Deadly car bomb hits Turkey refugee hub near Syria border

Iraq PM calls for punishment of protesters involved in violence

Yemen government forces seize Qaeda training camp