UAE plans to form labour unions, legalise collective bargaining

Filed on March 30, 2006

DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates is working on a law to allow labourers to form unions and legalise collective bargaining, the country’s labour minister said on Thursday.

“Labourers will be allowed to form unions. We’re going to have one union, with separate representatives for the construction, fishing, agriculture and other industries,” Labour Minister Ali Al Kaabi told The Associated Press.

Under current UAE laws, labour unions are illegal and workers have no rights of collective bargaining.

Kaabi said the UAE was in negotiations with the International Labour Organisation over changes to the current labour laws. He said he expected the proposed labour law to be in place by the end of the year.

“The law will control how strikes will be conducted. It will outline rights, the do’s and don’ts. There will be a labour representative who will be our point of contact. It will make contact with the labourers much easier.”

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