Friday, September 23, 2005

India blacklists Al Hamed Construction :: DAIJIWORLD

Quoting: (second story under above link)

The Indian government has blacklisted a UAE construction company after unpaid workers went on strike, according to an Indian newspaper report. Abu Dhabi-based Al Hamed will no longer be able to recruit Indians, and it will be refused consular services such as the attestation of workers’ documents, according to The Telegraph.
. . .
Al Hamed, and the company’s owners, has already been banned from recruiting new labour for the next six months after around 1,000 workers blocked Sheikh Zayed Road on Monday, saying they had not been paid for at least five months.
The argument that markets are good ways to organize economic activity assumes that buyers and sellers are well informed, and that contracts are enforceable. Neither condition holds when it comes to low wage-labor markets in the UAE. The irony is that Al Hamed's failure to honor its obligations hurts all construction companies seeking to recruit low-wage labor. It is appropriate for India to punish the company, and to steer workers to other companies.

The report continues:
After being given 24 hours to pay up or face legal action, the company agreed to pay most of the money, although it will still withhold two months’ wages to ‘prevent the workers absconding.’
The irony here is that it isn't workers who are breaking the contract, it is Al Hamed. It is the prohibition on changing jobs that is denying the workers a way of inducing Al Hamed to fulfill its contractual obligations. Workers should not have to resort to mass protest to gain the right to leave a employer who fails to pay them.

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