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Wed 31 Oct 2007 01:42 AM

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Thousands face deportation after strikes

UAE confirms 4,000 Asian labourers to be sent home after illegal strike.

Up to 4,000 Asian labourers working in Dubai will be deported after staging illegal strikes last weekend.

Labour ministry official Humaid bin Deemas told Arabic newspaper Emarat Al-Youm there would be a “deportation of 4,000 labourers who went on strike and committed acts of vandalism”, news agency AFP reported.

“The appropriate bodies have been contacted to carry out the necessary measures. The labourers do not want to work and we will not force them to” he added.

Several thousand manual workers were involved in the violent protest, downing tools and occupying and vandalising a building. The workers blocked Jebel Ali road, and attacked police and passing motorists with stones on Saturday.

Local press reported 3,100 workers demanded a wage rise of between 600 and 1,000 dirhams ($140 and $270) per month, improved transport to construction sites and better housing.

The workers, currently in custody, face a lifetime ban from working in the UAE.

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