By Staff writer
Head of Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs says working hard to protect rights of unskilled workers
More than half a million unskilled workers are employed in Dubai, according to statistics issued by the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs (PCLA).
Major General Obaid Mohair bin Surour, chairman of PCLA, said that there are 569,128 unskilled workers in Dubai, working for 3,039 companies.
"The UAE is working hard to ensure protection of the labourers' rights, which will have great impact on the interest of the country," he said, adding that the UAE has a long standing commitment to protecting workers' rights as well as upholding the interests and rights of employers.
He said the Follow up and Inspection on Workers' Housing Section of the PCLA is now inspecting worker accommodations using smart devices to reduce the number of violations being committed by employers.
There were 5,537 periodic inspections of labour accommodations in the Deira and Bur Dubai areas last year. These inspections revealed that there were 14 housing units with poor facilities, six in Deira and eight in Bur Dubai.
There were 508 units in the medium housing category, of which 316 were in Deira and 199 in Bur Dubai and there were 564 units found to be good condition, of which 84 were in Deira and 480 in Bur Dubai.
The inspection campaigns covered 150,973 rooms in the labour housing units 49,515 in Deira and 102,458 in Bur Dubai.
He said in comments published by news agency WAM: "The newly applied smart system allowed us to do intensive and quick inspection as well obtaining instant photography and videos about the inspection process."
He said this type of inspection helped in decreasing in the number of offences by companies and also it helped in ease and speed up the inspection process which benefit the workers and increased discipline among companies.
Bin Surour said this new system was a "significant step" to help labourers in Dubai "to get a comfortable, fair and healthy life".
He added: "We want to guarantee a decent life for workers through the application of specific criteria that include avoiding the accumulation of workers in the rooms, the need for a bed for each worker, shelves for clothing and others for shoes and also having coolers for water and the need for a doctors and clinic in addition to taking into consideration the levels of hygiene and provide safe kitchens and private places to eat and bathrooms and other services that make it convenient and safe life."
He said there is a need that both workers and their employers adhere to the rules relating to the security, safety and cleanliness of the accommodation.
It is wrong to call any of these people "unskilled". They have to deal with politics, corporatism, oppression, low housing standards and health hazards, and yet still produce a steady stream of concrete, glass and steel