Over 3,000 Striking Workers in Capital Resume Work

ABU DHABI — The majority of the over 3,000 workers who had been striking in their camps in Mussafah area of the Capital since Monday morning demanding higher wages to meet their expenses on food resumed work on Tuesday.

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz

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Published: Thu 23 Oct 2008, 12:35 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:36 PM

Only 20-30 workers have refused and decided to cancel their visas and leave the country.

Workers of Dubai-based ETA Contracting Company refused to go to the worksites in Abu Dhabi on Monday, demanding the company hike their salaries from Dh600 to Dh1,000 so that they could meet the expenses on food.

They were mostly workers of different Asian nationalities residing in Buildings 10 and 13A in ICAD Labour City in Mussafah Industrial Area.

Shah G., an Indian worker said, “We have no food allowance. The company doesn’t provide us meals and it has also banned us from cooking inside the camp.”

“Besides, we haven’t received our salaries and overtime dues for two months. The company always delays transfer of the salaries to our bank accounts by nearly 20 days,” said another Indian worker, Nordara Gon.

Some workers also complained the company did not provide drinking water at the accommodation.

Fadel Hassan, public relations manager at ETA Contracting Co, denied all these charges.

There had been no delay in paying the wages as claimed by workers, he said. The problem started when they rejected the meals the company provided them daily and demanded food allowance in addition to the salaries.

“We have more than 50,000 permanent and about 20,000 temporary workers. We provide them the best accommodation and meals. We cannot accept these demands,” said Hassan.

Officials at the Ministry of Labour (MoL) officials said the strike is against the UAE labour law.

Ahmed Al Wahadi, MoL inspector, told this reporter that the problem has been solved. The company will not increase the salaries. The workers have two choices: resume duty or cancel their visas and return to their countries.


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