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7,000 Indians strike in Dubai

Nearly 7,000 Indian workers employed in a construction firm in Dubai stayed away from work for the second day on May 17 demanding better pay and working conditions.

The employees of the Besix Construction Company which has between 7,000 and 10,000 workers, stayed away from work on May 16 and 17 demanding a minimum salary of dh1,000, dh300 food allowance and annual vacation, Indian consulate sources said.

Indian officials visited the labour camp thrice before the protests began, but could not persuade the workers. The company also made some concessions.

"We are aware of the problems faced by the workers of Besix Construction.

The workers had contacted the consulate earlier. We visited the camp and they have given us a list of grievances. "We have discussed the matter with labour officials and the company management who have assured us to look into the problems of their workers soon. We have informed the workers about this and urged them not to protest. We are trying to solve their problems soon," an Indian consulate official said.

Besix workers declined to report to work at various construction sites, including the Burj Dubai Construction Project, demanding an increase in salary and elimination of arbitrary salary deductions. "The company has not increased the salary of workers since its inception. People who have worked for years and those who are new are paid the same salary," a worker said.

Meanwhile, some 350 migrant workers of the al Huda Contracting Company staged protests for not having been paid on time. They marched in the scorching heat from their labour camp in Jebel Ali, some 10 kilometres from Dubai's centre.



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