After the initial strikes by 4,000 Dubai construction workers there were hundreds of arrests and tough talks of deporting huge numbers of protesters and giving them a life ban upon reentry to the UAE.
While interviews were rare and news was scarce the decision now seems to have been greatly modified. At a time when the very same UAE skyline and completed buildings were been showcased to delegates at the Festival of Thinkers and the US First Lady, Laura Bush and international interest was high, the thought of deporting thousands of the workers who had contributed significantly to the UAE success was obviously deemed to be a bad move.
Now the word from the Ministry of Labour is about protection and encouraging companies to recognize that workers are worthy of their hire.
A soft and compassionate report from the ministry was issued in the Gulf News and can be found at:
WAM, ‘Labour Ministry Told to Protect Workers’, Gulf News, 5 November 2007.
The many international papers have reported this news and their commentaries are much more pointed. One example can be found at:
AP, ‘Asian Workers’ Strike Prompts Emirates to Start Considering Minimum Wage’, International Herald Tribune, November 5, 2007.
Image: Construction workers Dubai.
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