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."

 

US-backed fighters battle IS near Syria stronghold

Israel environment minister resigns from 'extremist government'

Juncker warns Ankara against migrant deal threats

Tunisia mulls allowing women to serve in army

Number of foreigners visiting Turkey dives by 30% in April

Thousands of protesters gather in central Bagdad

99 lashes for partying Iranian students

100,000 Syrians trapped after shock IS advance in Aleppo

Iran sticking to nuclear deal: UN watchdog

Turkey party seeks constitutional change to boost president's powers

Turkey accuses US of 'hypocrisy' on Kurdish militia in Syria

US-led coalition pounds IS near Raqa

Tunisia tourism sees 'slight recovery'

UN envoy calls for economic rescue plan for Yemen

Bahrain jails 19 for attacks on police

Up to 30 dead in shipwreck off Libya

UN says Syrians will 'starve' unless aid improves

Christian homes set ablaze in Egyptian village 'love story'

Kuwait's main opposition group ends polls boycott

Twin offensives on IS edge forward in Syria, Iraq

Private firms to help in hunt for Egyptair black boxes

New Israeli defence minister's tough talk to be put to the test

Syria most dangerous place for health workers

Concern for civilians trapped in Iraq's Fallujah

Brent rises past $50 a barrel

Iraq PM urges protesters to stay home

Israeli air force carries out strikes on Hamas sites in Gaza

Annual Jewish pilgrimage starts in Tunisia

Sudan accuses UN official of 'false' reports on displaced

Egypt quashes prison sentences for 47 protesters

At least 5 drown off Libya coast

Coalition airstrike kills six Yemen civilians 'by mistake'

Erdogan chairs first meeting of new Turkey cabinet

Pope prays to 'convert hearts' of ISIS extremists

Egypt expels French journalist amid crackdown on media

Israeli rights group gives up on army complaints system

Hamas-led council backs executions without Abbas approval

Netanyahu forms ultra-nationalist Israel government

Major assaults target IS jihadists in Iraq, Syria

Yemen warring parties 'closer' to agreement

New Afghan Taliban leader named

Syrian base used by Russia damaged in IS attack

Kurdish, Arab forces announce anti-IS offensive north of Syria's Raqa

Palestinian PM dismisses Netanyahu proposal

Israel PM's travel expenses under scrutiny