Emaar taking worker strike action 'very seriously'
Developer urges contractor action after riot police deployed as worker dispute boils over in Downtown Dubai
Emaar, the developer behind a project at the centre of a rare show of industrial action in the emirate by hundreds of construction labourers, says it has taken urgent steps to ensure that a contractor resolves issues raised by the workers.
Dubai authorities deployed riot police to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai yesterday (Tuesday) morning, where the world's tallest building is located, blocking some roads while negotiators tried to settle a dispute about overtime pay.
The workers, from south Asia, said the company had stopped overtime work and pay at a time when basic salaries were too low.
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An Emaar spokesperson said: “Emaar works with established and large contracting companies that have a good track-record and strong organisational structure for our projects. We have clear guidelines for our contractors to ensure that they follow industry best practices.
"We have stipulated strict measures in terms of health, safety and worker conditions that not only comply with the UAE government regulations but also to international standards in the construction industry. Emaar is taking this matter seriously and have highlighted the incident to the senior management of the contractors to ensure that matters are resolved at the earliest possible.”
The Dubai government media office, in a message over Twitter, said Dubai police helped to resolve the dispute. "Within an hour, Dubai Police resolved issues of Fountain Views workers gathered in Boulevard demanding bonus," it said.
The workers were told that the dispute had been settled, but details of the settlement were not announced.
One worker, quoted by Reuters, said a worker's basic salary was less than 500 dirhams ($136) and with overtime pay, one could make around 1,100 dirhams. "We don't have overtime work any more so we're striking. I'm not afraid to ask for my rights," he said.
The contractor was unavailable for comment, and had not, at point of writing, released an official statement.