Dubai-based group launches initiative to eliminate use of term 'blue-collar workers'

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Alok Gadkar, Pashupati and Dr Harmeek Singh. — Supplied photo
Alok Gadkar, Pashupati and Dr Harmeek Singh. — Supplied photo

BeyondBlue holds charity show to benefit industrial workers in the Emirates and beyond.


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Published: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 11:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 11:26 PM

A Dubai-based group has officially launched a global initiative that seeks to eliminate the use of the term 'blue-collar workers' to refer to those working in the manual labour sector across industries.

Dubbed BeyondBlue, the project was conceptualised and founded by Dr Harmeek Singh, founder and chairman of Plan B; and Alok Gadkar, MD and executive creative director, Partnership Advertising to highlight the issue and mobilise support from key stakeholders to achieve its goal of re-defining the conversation about our workers. It launched with a special charity runway show at the ongoing Vie Fashion Week being held in Sheikh Saeed Halls 2 & 3 of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Singh and Gadkar are calling for support from people to use “industrial workers” or “skilled workers” when referring to those who are working in this sector.

“We have been working with the industrial workers sector for many years now through our Box of Hope project, providing various forms of assistance to this underserved sector of our community. Working with Alok and his team at Partnership, we thought of raising the conversation to a global level and call for a more dignified way of identifying our industrial workers,” said Singh.

Gadkar hopes the initiative will get people onboard to veer away from a discriminatory term associated with colour. “Doing an honest day’s work, as many of our industrial workers do on a regular basis, cannot be defined by the colour of their collars. In fact, as many of them are part in building and making many businesses work, eliminating this colour-based identity gives their profession a semblance of pride,” he added.

At the benefit show, industrial workers walked the ramp during the BeyondBlue segment of the Vie Fashion Week, wearing especially designed and produced overalls to creatively signify the project’s call to stop using the term “blue-collar”.

The limited-edition overalls will be sold, proceeds of which will be used by the BeyondBlue team to promote the global call to stop the practice of using “blue-collar workers” and contribute to the welfare of industrial workers.

With the UAE providing livelihood to some 2.7 million workers, BeyondBlue founders Singh and Gadkar thought the country was the best launch pad for this global initiative. “We will take this conversation to an international level and hope at some point to get international organisations to institute vital linguistic and policy reforms that will help the cause and bring dignity back to our industrial workers,” said Singh and Gadkar.


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