Strike disruptions delay Arabtec projects

Burj Dubai contractor fears key projects may miss completion dates.
Strike disruptions delay Arabtec projects
By Joel Bowman
Wed 14 Nov 2007 11:18 AM

Disruptions caused by last week's strikes may cause Arabtec, one of the construction companies working on the Burj Dubai, to miss completion dates for some of its key projects in Dubai.

The executive director of Arabtec, Tom Berry, told the Associated Press that the strikes had caused serious delays for many of the firm's projects around Dubai, but would not reveal details on exactly which ones would miss deadline.

The company had "suffered financially ... in terms of completing projects," Berry told the Associated Press. Many workers began returning to work on Sunday, with the bulk of employees taking their posts yesterday.

Forty-thousand employees of Dubai-based Arabtec Construction Giant holed up in their labor camps last week, refusing to return to work until their demands for a pay increase of $55 per month was met.

Construction on projects around the city, including the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building, ground to a halt while parties were locked in negotiations.

"An agreement was reached to increase their salary and they will go back to work," Berry said. He did not reveal the amount of the increase, but said it was a "fair increase to compensate them (the workers) for loses due to a weak dollar."

An official, who did not wish to be named, said that workers had been offered a $27 pay increase, if they returned to work immediately. The increase would take the average pay of an unskilled laborer from $109 to $136 per month and that of a skilled labourer from $163 to $190.

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