Thursday, April 09, 2009

That's billion with a b.

Financial Times:
UAE groups fail to pay bills

Lord Mandelson has raised concerns about the failure of developers in the United Arab Emirates to pay British contractors, and has sought reassurances from local rulers that financial commitments will be honoured.

The UAE, particularly Dubai, has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, and some contractors and consultants have complained that they have not been paid for up to six months. Government-linked developers dominate the UAE’s property sector, and cash-strapped Dubai-affiliated companies are thought to owe billions of dollars.
He said: “I have had concern expressed to me about [delayed payments]. “Nobody thinks that anyone in Dubai or Abu Dhabi is going to default, and people understand the delay, but what they want is reassurance that the delay will not become permanent and that bills will be paid because these are contractors employing very large quantities of labour.”
Meanwhile, in the low-wage sector:

Gulf News:
Ajman: Officials on Wednesday warned companies of ignoring the living conditions of their workers or failing to pay them on time.

The warning came as a group of workers closed some roads in Ajman to protest what they claim as "restrictive" procedures by their employers, who don’t allow them to look for other jobs, but also fail to pay them the Dh450 monthly salary.
Gulf News:
The Ministry of Labour said the UAE does not tolerate violation of labour laws and workers' rights and it will investigate claims made in a BBC TV programme on violation of workers' rights in Dubai.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour, ordered the inspection team at the ministry to investigate the claims made in Panorama, a BBC TV programme broadcast on April 6, that expatriate labourers are forced to live and work in poor conditions.

The episode titled Slumdogs and Millionaires claimed to expose the bad working and living conditions of construction workers in Dubai and to "reveal the darker side of Dubai that works behind the scenes to make the glamorous image a reality".
Just the same, the Gulf News also reports, UK distances itself from slanderous stories on Dubai.


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