Tuesday, October 04, 2005

UAE ministry warns salary defaulters :: Aljazeera

Using shame. Seems significant.

The Labour Ministry will begin publishing the names of employers who fail to pay their workers, the ministry's undersecretary said, warning that protests by unpaid labourers are damaging the image of the United Arab Emirates.

"If they (employers) don't care about our country's reputation, we don't care about their reputation," Undersecretary Khalid Alkhazraji told The Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.
. . .
The threat to name the defaulting employers is significant because they include companies owned by members of the royal family, who have never been shamed publicly by the government in the past. Alkhazraji said the failure to pay was usually the fault of the companies and their managers because they could not handle the projects they had undertaken.
But then there's this:
The government says it is keen to upgrade labour standards, as they are an issue in negotiations for a free trade agreement with the US. Top sticking points include giving workers the right to form trade unions and bargain collectively.

Alkhazraji acknowledged that such rights could have huge consequences for the country, perhaps slowing down the building boom and causing prices to rise. "We're working towards it," Alkhazraji said. "You need to look at the UAE as a new country, a developing country. You cannot ratify these things all at once. We need time to prepare the ground."
Enforcement of contracts and freedom of individual parties to negotiate terms of a contract are essential to a healthy economy. Collective bargaining and adoption of U.S. labor standards are not essential. Standards cost money that many workers would prefer to see in cash. Unions fall in the category of monopolies; they reduce employment below the efficient level. At a minimum, workers should not be compelled to be members of a trade union.

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