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."

 

Britain wants ‘strategic partnership’ with GCC

Egypt’s 'three-year strategy' seeks to revive struggling economy

Syria forces take control of Aleppo Old City

Over 40 people missing after ship sinks off Yemen

Qatar to invest up to $13bn on 'mega projects' in 2017

Libya's key oil region threatened by renewed fighting

Syria rebels call for Aleppo ceasefire

Rebel rockets scar west Aleppo residents

Egypt jails prominent NGO activist

Turkish soldier killed in Syria bomb blast

IS-linked group ousted from Somalia town

Kerry, Lavrov to resume Syria talks Wednesday

Iraqis swarm to remarry after liberation from ‘caliphate’

Four drown, 34 rescued off Morocco coast

Israel to vote on bill to legalise West Bank settlements

Turkish businessmen embrace Erdogan’s plan to boost lira

Battle for Mosul advances deeper into city

Iran to sign deal with Shell in bid to boost output

Israeli missiles strike targets outside Damascus

Hollande condemns Russia’s ‘systematic obstruction’ of Syria ceasefire

Turkey doing 'everything possible' to push Syria talks between Russia, opposition

Russia army colonel dies after Aleppo rebel shelling

Libyan forces hunt remaining jihadists in Sirte

Iraqi jailed in Sweden for war crimes after Facebook post

Regime forces seize five Aleppo districts from rebels

Israeli artist erects golden Netanyahu statue in protest

Russia says US stalling on Aleppo rebel pullout

Saudi sentences 15 to death for being Iranian spies

US defence secretary says Mosul battle could end before Trump

US, NATO stress 'unity' as Trump raises doubts

Greece to extradite three Turkish coup officers

Egypt arrests 25 human organ traffickers

Morocco PM statement on Russia’s ‘destructive’ role in Syria angers Moscow

Israel far right hails bill to 'legalise' settler homes

Merkel says Aleppo situation ‘disgrace’

Iranian president says sanctions renewal proves US still ‘enemy’

Yemen arrests eight IS suspects in Aden

Turkey arrests opposition advisor over alleged Gulen links

Russia says OPEC, non-OPEC countries to meet in Vienna

British PM joins GCC summit for trade talks

Israel government nears deal that could 'legalise' settler homes

Yemen's Hadi would only give way to 'elected' leader

Russia says medic killed, others injured in Aleppo fighting

Greek court rejects extradition of Turkey officers

Sudan court frees 26 protesters