Smart kiosks to educate labourers about rights
Workers check out a smart kiosk installed at Dulsco Village labour accommodation in Dubai. The kiosk gives out information in Arabic, English, Urdu and Malayalam.
Dubai - Authorities have also introduced the Taqdeer Award to honour companies for their overall treatment to labourers.
By Sherouk Zakaria
Published: Wed 17 May 2017, 8:26 PM
New information kiosks will soon be introduced in labour camps in Dubai to educate workers on their rights and duties, said officials on Tuesday.
The machine, introduced by the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs (PCLA) in Dubai, is aimed to raise awareness among labourers about their rights, while helping them communicate their problems to the right authorities.
Set in Arabic, English, Urdu and Malayalam Languages, the kiosk is currently at a one-month trial phase to educate over 3,000 workers at Dulsco Village labour accommodation at Al Quoz Industrial area.
Abdul Monem Al Medawi, Vice Head of the Labour committee, said if the smart system proved to be successful, it will be introduced to all labour camps around the emirate. "The programme introduces labourers to UAE culture and introduces them to their basic rights while referring them to the right authorities and ministries if their rights were violated," said Al Medawi. "Through it, they will know all about their working hours, midday breaks, getting work permits, renewing their residence visa and how they can voice their complaints to ministries or the police."
The smart system also introduces labourers to UAE culture, traditions and customs. "It will tell them the rules to be followed during Ramadan, for example, and the Islamic rules that need to be respected," noted Al Medawi. Coupons and other incentives will also be introduced to those who complete the programme. Training personnel are allocated to demonstrate to workers on how to use the smart system.
Al Medawi said companies and entities will also be encouraged to introduce the system in their premises. "The key is to raise awareness to ensure workers are being provided with the best working conditions. When they know their rights, they are less likely to experience difficulties and will stand up for themselves," said Al Medawi.
He noted that daily training programmes are provided to workers at medical fitness centres in Al Muhaisnah and Al Quoz in urdu, Arabic and English, but the smart system is expected to widen the outreach.
Prakash Parab, Director of Dulsco HR Solutions, said it is important to address the challenges that the labour force experience throughout their daily job. In the camp, employers often go to work with labourers to introduce better policies that can improve their working conditions. "The last time I dressed as a worker and went to work with them, I figured that their safety shoes was too heavy to wear, and therefore, so we introduced lighter shoes," he said.
"It is important for them to know the labour law and rights introduced to them by the government to ensure their wellbeing."
Authorities have also introduced the Taqdeer Award to honour companies for their overall treatment to labourers.
Strikes by workers decrease by 90%
Major-General Obaid Muhair bin Surour, Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs (PCLA), has said that there was a 90 per cent decrease in labour strikes during 2016 as compared to the previous year.
He noted that some strikes occurred at companies in liquidation or the ones that did not perform well. Six cases were resolved during the first quarter of the year, compared to 19 strikes in the same period last year.