Civic body official who sacked thousands asked to `go home'

ABU DHABI - A top official of a civic body in Abu Dhabi has been asked to "go home" after openly saying in a television interview that he fired more than 13,000 employees.

By (Our correspondent)

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Published: Wed 30 Jun 2004, 9:40 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:35 AM

The official told the national TV channel that he was proud that they kicked out such a huge number of employees who represented a surplus workforce. The next morning the official was seen quietly leaving his office.

"We heard that he had been asked to leave and we saw him saying goodbye to the people," a source at the department said.

Immediately after joining the department around a year ago, the official, who occupied the second top post, according to the sources, asked for lists of employees. "He was very particular about certain nationalities. He wanted to apply a quota system but things went wrong I believe," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

"Protesting against the unfair decisions he has taken, two high ranking officials of the department have immediately resigned. They were more than 20 years senior to him," the source said.

He said that as a result of the sacking policy adopted by the official and his management team many vital projects and services had consequently been put to a halt since then. One of the senior executives in the department confessed that they were facing a dilemma after terminating thousands of employees. "The executive said, "we are in deep water and we don't know what to do," shutting up voices which suggested to take terminated workers back," the source said.

The department terminated around 3,000 workers from one of the most vital sectors in the emirate in one week. When the officials announced the move at a Press conference, they were bombarded with questions. Their justification was that the move to terminate such a large number of workers was in line with nationalisation policy and that many of the workers had to be made redundant because they were employed for specific projects which were nearing completion.

"With such a move, we are cutting down the size of the workforce which is not needed anymore," one of the officials said. The officials insisted at that time that the move had been studied carefully before it was made, saying that the department had hired consultants who carried out feasibility studies on the programme.

On the future of the sacked workers and their families, one of the officials told reporters, "We have no answers for those inquiring about what will happen to those with schoolchildren. It is up to them to send them back home to continue education there or seek some other alternatives here".

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