UAE’s Arabtec raises 36,000 labourer wages by 20%

Foreign workers at Dubai construction firm staged mass walk-out over pay dispute in May

Arabtec, the UAE’s largest listed construction firm, has raised the salaries of all 36,000 of its workers in the Gulf state by 20 percent following large-scale strikes earlier this year.

In a statement on the country’s state news agency, Arabtec said that move was part of an effort to provide an “exemplary work environment to workers”.

Labourers at Arabtec are currently paid between $160 to $190 per month, according to sources.

In May, thousands of workers employed by Dubai-based Arabtec stayed away from work for four days demanding higher wages and better working conditions in a rare example of industrial action in the UAE, where workers’ unions are illegal.

Most blue collar workers in the Gulf Arab states are migrant labourers hired on a contract basis from South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, and strikes are uncommon.

Migrant workers in Dubai are often employed at wages that are low by Western standards and housed in dormitory-style accommodation on the outskirts of the city.

Following the strikes, about 200 Arabtec workers were repatriated to their home countries. Sites affected by the walk-out included projects such as the Dubai Airport Terminal 2 expansion and construction in Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Marina.

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Posted by: R. Ibrahim

And do not forget to tax their small remittance (ie. Smsll Savings on their small salary) with this new remittance tax !

Posted by: Peter

Fantastic! A $32 pay raise per month. What does that make the new hourly pay rate for these guys (based on 12 hours work per day x 6 days a week)? How does that compare to the hourly pay rate elsewhere in the world? The US minimum wage is near $10 per hour ..... works out to more than the monthly pay of these guys in 2 days flat! Still, a step in the right direction by Arabtec.

Posted by: Paul

The salaries paid in this region are ofensive.
How can a poor country like Greece have a minium salary by law of 480 Euros (650US$) and the GCC countries are paying salaries as low as 160US$?
A salary should take into account the conditions of the country where the work is provided and not the conditions of the country of origin where the worker comes from.
This is to allow the worker to save some money and to have a decent life and to enjoy what the host country has to offer (entertainment, restaurants, cinema, etc...).
Arabatec is doing too little too late, reacting to the world's eyes on this region's systematic abuse of the less fortunate!
30US$ pay rise, its almost an insult!

Posted by: Shenoy N

Kudos to Arabtec Management. Their decision is exemplary for the other companies to follow.
And for all those who spoke ill of Arabtec for deporting some trouble makers, I hope your suspicions are now cleared.

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