Workers demand to be paid back

Chinese labourers working for BUCC call for ‘recruitment' expenses to be returned but Ministry of Labour stands firm

The Ministry of Labour investigation unit said the workers? claims were illegitimate, as they were already being compensated for fees paid in China.
The Ministry of Labour investigation unit said the workers? claims were illegitimate, as they were already being compensated for fees paid in China.

Around 600 Chinese workers went on protest last week, calling for fees they had paid to a recruitment company in China, to be returned to them.

Chinese firm, Beijing Uni-Construction Company (BUCC), which is currently subcontracted by Al Habtoor Engineering & Contracting Company, employs the construction workers.

Speaking to Construction Week, a spokesperson for Al Habtoor said: "The problem is from the side of BUCC who recruited these workers from China. Al Habtoor has nothing to do with all of this.

 

"We subcontracted BUCC and with it their workers, but essentially they are not our responsibility and what has happened with their recruiters back in China has nothing to do with us."

The workers demonstrated in Sharjah's Industrial Area No. 10 and then outside the Ministry of Labour in Dubai.

Top officials from the police, Ministry of Labour and the Chinese consulate were called in to negotiate with the workers but they refused to go back to work and demanded to be sent home.

The main concern of the workers was that they had paid a recruitment company in China a large amount of money in order to come and work in the UAE, which they wanted back.

Abdullah bin Sulooum, head of the investigation unit at the Ministry of Labour and member of the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai, said the workers' claims were illegitimate, especially since the company had agreed to pay them US $62 (AED230) per month for a year to compensate them for the money they paid back home.

BUCC and the Chinese Consulate were not available for comment.

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