02/25/2008, 00.00
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Dubai: workers get six months in jail and expulsion for “illegal” strike

A Dubai court sentences 45 Indian labourers to six months in jail followed by expulsion after workers protested last year for better working conditions.

Dubai (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In a country where strikes are banned, the sentence issued by the Dubai Court of Misdemeanour against Indian workers reflects the coercive atmosphere that prevails in the country. The strikers were sentenced to six months in jail to be followed by their deportation for involvement in violent protests to demand pay increases last year.

The Indian construction workers took to the streets demanding rights, better pay and living conditions.

The court found them guilty as charged, including holding illegal gatherings, vandalism and violating public security.

Real estate is in constant expansion in the United Arab Emirates and foreign workers are in high demand.

Many human rights organisations have put pressure on the government to do something about the abuses and violations foreign workers are subjected to.

In response the government has revised the labour law requiring employers to offer migrant workers regular contracts and pay for their travel expenses, their employment permits, medical tests and health care.

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