300 workers complain about unpaid salaries and poor living conditions

DUBAI - In addition to the common complaint of non-payment of salaries on time which has been on the rise recently, a group of 300 workers on Wednesday approached the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Dubai to voice their dilemma over the inhuman living conditions at their camp where 14 or 15 labourers are living in one room.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Thu 15 Apr 2004, 11:55 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:01 PM

The workers, all Indians employed by a services company based in Dubai, said that they have not been paid their monthly wages for the last three months and complained about the conditions at their labour camp, saying that up to 15 people were living in one room.

The workers who gathered in front of the ministry said that they resorted to lodging a complaint as a final resort after all their attempts to reason with their employer failed.

"He made several promises in the past to pay us the delayed wages, but he never kept hose promises which caused serious financial troubles to us," said one of the workers.

Another worker pointed to the fact that their financial problems are rooted in their home country where they bought their employment visas for an amount of Dh 7,500 each. "We thought that we will be able to make up for the amounts we spent on buying the visas, despite the fact that our salaries range between Dh700 and Dh 1,100. However, it seems that this is not possible with the delays in the payment of wages," another worker said.

The workers, including electricians and carpenters, said that the total number of employees in the company is 422, adding that the same problems are facing their colleagues working in the company's branch in Abu Dhabi, but they have not filed any complaint as yet.

A source at the ministry said that the employer or his representative will be summoned to the ministry to settle the dispute in an amicable manner, adding that the ministry's staff managed to convince the workers to go back to work after they filed the complaint.

The source stressed that expatriate workers should understand that protesting and refusing to work are illegal acts not allowed by the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980.

"The law regards any attempt to walk out on an employee's job as a means to pressurise the employer as a major violation. Workers can claim their rights by approaching the ministry without engaging in group strikes," the source said.

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