By Neil Halligan
Workers downed tools last year after construction company failed to pay wages
A group of 1,700 labourers, who downed tools late last year over unpaid wages, have been paid the $2.2 million (AED8.2m) they were owed.
The workers staged a work stoppage in October last year over complaints of having to work without pay. The expat workers said they were owed $2.2 million – $1,200 each on average – and said the delay in payments meant that their families at home suffered as a result.
“The men said they and their families back home would on many occasions spend days without eating as they didn’t have any money,” a judicial official was quoted as saying by 7Days newspaper.
After the Ministry of Interior referred the case to the Labour Court, a delegation from the court, including a judge, went to the workers’ labour accommodation to assess the case and try to settle it amicably.
“The team have been speaking with the workers and their employer and the dispute was finally resolved by reconciliation, after the company agreed to pay all the workers’ salaries,” Hassan Ahmad Al Hamed, director of Abu Dhabi Labour Court, told 7Days.
Al Hamed said the delay in payment was because the Abu Dhabi construction firm had financial problems. The $2.2 million has been paid to the Labour Court, and the workers have received their money, he confirmed.