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Sat 23 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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Parkway hit by strike over money

Around 1,600 construction workers employed by UAE-based Parkway International Contracting (PIC) last week went on strike over pay.

Around 1,600 construction workers employed by UAE-based Parkway International Contracting (PIC) last week went on strike over pay.

The workers blocked two lanes opposite Ibn Battuta Mall on Sheikh Zayed Road for over an hour before being told their demands would be met and returned to work.

Speaking to Construction Week at the scene, one of the workers, whose name has been withheld, said: "We are on strike because the company has cut down our salaries.

The company told us that those of us who are being paid US $230 (AED850) per month would now be paid only $122 per month, with the rest of the money going into a deposit fund for us.

"But we don't want any deposit funds. What we get is barely enough to survive on let alone keeping some away for a deposit fund.

This was the largest strike by construction workers to have hit the UAE so far this year.

The worker added: "The company, however, has now promised us that not only will we get paid the amount promised to us originally, but in addition we'll each get a $40.8 increase on our salaries. We're waiting to see if this happens.

PIC, which was unavailable for comment, is working on the Marina Mall project and the Palm Jumeirah.

Last week, contractors Arabtec and Besix, which have both been affected by labour disputes, called for a minimum wage for construction workers to be implemented.

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