Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Labor mobility :: 7days

This is a start:
The UAE’s Ministry of Labour has allowed a group of labourers, who had not been paid for months, to switch sponsors without permission from their employer for the first time.

The 16 construction workers, who had not been paid for more than four months, transferred their sponsorship to a new company last week, a senior official told 7DAYS last night. “We transferred their sponsorships without even bothering to inform the offending employer,” the official said. The move is a dramatic escalation in the UAE’s battle against employers who leave workers unpaid, sometimes for months at a time.

The 16 workers won a court ruling against their employer, and were granted six-month permits to work for a new company. That company then offered to take the men on permanently, and the Ministry transferred the men’s sponsorship without the knowledge of their original employer, the first case of its kind in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Regular readers will know my opinion: If all workers were given a some measure of freedom to change jobs, then failure to pay wages will become less common. As it is, enforcement is costly for all concerned, including the government and the country:
The official said the Protection of Wages law passed in 2003 compels employers to pay their workers at least once every month. But the Ministry can only get involved if workers make a complaint, he said.

“Now if the worker agreed and didn’t complain, the Ministry doesn’t interfere,” he said. The Ministry last week admitted that protests by unpaid labourers were damaging the country’s image. "If employers don't care about our country's reputation, we don't care about their reputation," Undersecretary Khalid Alkhazraji said.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home