Wednesday, April 27, 2005

UAE undersecretary of Labour and Social Affairs: UAE 'may' get labor unions - Gulf News

Dr Taleb Al Rifa'i, Regional Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), meanwhile told Gulf News trade unions will be established in the UAE even though they may pose challenges to residents. The approval of trade unions has been delayed because the majority of workers are expatriates.

Dr Al Rifa'i said the establishment of trade unions is a fundamental international requirement that should be respected by all countries.

[emphasis added]

Unions will "pose challenges to" nationals "because the majority of workers are expatriates." Non tradeable labor intensive industries will pass along price increases if unions are able to increase wages.

At the same time, if unions drive up wages, this will close the gap between private sector wages and the wages Emiratis are willing to accept. More Emiratis will be attracted into private sector employment even if Emiratization quotas are not enforced.

More:

UAE officials also asked for experts to look at the nation's policies and administration of its foreign labour force. "It's quite a difficult thing to find. I believe the ILO may know experts in Singapore or Malaysia, where there are also large foriegn labour populations."
So said Dr. Khalid Al Khazraji, undersecretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

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