Dubai labourers stage rare strike for more pay
DUBAI (REUTERS) - Thousands of workers employed by Dubai's largest construction firm, Arabtec, stayed away from work on Sunday to back wage demands, a rare labour protest in the Gulf emirate, where trade unions are banned, staff said.
Most blue-collar workers in the Gulf Arab states are migrant labourers hired on a contract basis from South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, and strikes are uncommon.
Migrant workers in Dubai are often employed at wages that are low by Western standards and housed in dormitory-style accommodation on the outskirts of the city, part of the United Arab Emirates, a regional business and tourism hub.
Two Arabtec employees who asked not to be identified said several thousand workers engaged on various projects did not report for duty on Sunday and stayed in their accommodation.