Abu Dhabi: Labourers Protest Over Unpaid Salaries

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Abu Dhabi Police defused a strike by hundreds of labourers who protested at their company’s alleged failure to pay wages on time.

The National said dozens of officers and a helicopter were able to calm the demonstration on the capital’s Reem Island, which began at 10:30 am on Sunday.

The workers said their employer, a private contractor tasked with fitting out high-rise towers, had not paid them for three months. Some indicated they were owed five months of wages.

After talks with police the men began returning to their accommodation at 1:50 pm, the publication said. The dispute is said to have been handed to the labour ministry.  Authorities have been cracking down on companies that miss wage payments.

In 2016, the UAE Cabinet approved a decree to halt the granting of work permits to firms that owed money to workers. The company had sent HR managers to the labour accommodation to help settle the dispute.

A wage protection scheme implemented in 2016 keeps track of payments to workers.

If salaries are not received within 10 days a warning is sent. Fines start from Dhs5,000 ($1,361) per worker if payment is not made within 60 days.

Workers facing payment delays are encouraged to go to the labour ministry or one of 15 Tawafq service centres across the city.

 

Source Credit: Gulf Business

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