Dubai (AsiaNews) – A partial victory, or so it seems for the over 40 thousand workers who went out on strike in Dubai last week. The strikers were demanding a pay rise, from the current 136 dollars a month, public transport to work and better housing. Initially threatened with expulsion – the State does not recognise the right to strike – the workers now seem to have found a source of support in the authorities, who have not only withdrawn their threat, but have announced new “severe measures” against employers who fail to respect workers rights.
Gulfnews in fact reports the Dubai chief of police, General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, has announced that “Strict measures will be taken against anyone who violates the rules, orders and instructions, especially the ones concerning workers' rights”
The police have also begun interrogating a boss from one of the leading construction firms – most of the strikers are construction workers involved in the building of Burj Dubai, a 643 metre high skyscraper, destined to become the tallest in the world - who has admitted his faults and has made it known that they will carry out inspections to catch those companies who do not provide adequate working conditions for their labourers and that those not in order will be charged.
According to Middle East online, an estimated 700,000 Asians, mostly from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, work as construction workers in the UAE, where only 20 percent of the four-million populations are UAE citizens.