200 duped Chinese offered ‘a fair deal’

DUBAI — About 200 Chinese workers, who were duped by their employer in their home country, were offered a choice by the local company between compensation and cancellation of visas or to make fresh and direct labour contract against about Dh1200 monthly salary yesterday.

By Eman Al Baik

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 3 Oct 2005, 10:10 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:48 PM

Arabtec Construction LLC, the local employer of the Chinese workers, discovered that the workers were fooled by their Chinese employer and its representative here, the Works Manager, when they protested before the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on Saturday.

Subsequently, the company offered the workers the choice to continue working for it under fresh labour contract or to cancel their visas after compensating them for the amount deducted from their salaries.

"The local employer was fair with the workers whose employer in China failed to pay them the agreed upon monthly salary of Dh1600 during their work in the UAE. They were each paid only Dh400 per month as salary. The local company, in an effort to settle the problem of the workers, offered them a monthly salary of Dh800 plus overtime which would totally amount to Dh1200 per month," a ministry source said.

The workers had agreed with their employer in China, a construction company, to work in the UAE against Dh1600 monthly salary. "For this work opportunity, they had to furnish their employer with bank guarantees and recruitment fees," the sources said.

Arabtec, which awarded the Chinese company part of the project, had an agreement to recruit Chinese workers on its sponsorship. Arabtec has 22,930 workers on its sponsorship, of whom 331 were reported absconders. The company has a clear and violation-free record, said the source.

The ministry found that the local company had signed labour contracts with the workers wherein the monthly salary was fixed at Dh600, but the labour contracts were signed only to process visa formalities.

In reality, the actual employer in China had to pay the salaries of the workers according to the agreement signed between the two companies. A representative of the Chinese company paid the workers just Dh400 monthly instead of the agreed upon Dh1600, said the sources.

The workers complained to the ministry that they signed on the labour contracts without knowing what the terms were, and that they thought they were signing documents only to complete visa formalities.

The local employer has proved that he paid the Chinese company the Dh1600 per worker in full and without any delay, said the source.

The ministry found that the representative of the Chinese company deducted from the Dh1600 monthly salary food allowance of about Dh210, medical expenses and 20 per cent as visa fees although the necessary bank guarantees had been given by the workers while they were still in China.

The ministry assigned an inspector to follow up and reach a settlement. The inspector with the cooperation of the local company management offered the workers a fair settlement.

The management of the company offered to compensate the workers for the amounts deducted from their salaries for the past three months and to cancel their visa if they wanted that. The company also offered the workers the choice of signing a fresh labour contract for Dh600 monthly salary. When the workers rejected the offer, the company raised the offer to Dh800 plus Dh300 to Dh400 as overtime to take their salaries as close to the Dh1600 original salary as possible.

"The management of the local company has given the workers two days time to think over the offer and to give their final decision in this regard," the source said.

Mission bid to settle row

ABU DHABI — The problems faced by the 200 Chinese workers, who staged a protest at the Labour Ministry for denial of part of their salaries, are being sorted out and a solution will be thrashed out soon, a spokesman for the Chinese mission here said.

The workers from a Chinese company, who were brought to Dubai in July this year and subsequently contracted out to another Dubai-based construction company, did not lodge a report with the Ministry.

"We are working out the matter and I cannot comment anything more than this at this juncture," the spokesman for the Chinese mission said.

More news from