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Workers in Dubai have received AED15 million in unpaid wages extending as far back as February 2009. Will the measure help Dubai improve its reputation worldwide?

October 11, 2009 11:38 by

An undisclosed number of laborers have received AED15 million ($4.08 million) in unpaid wages extending back to February 2009, reported The National on Sunday, citing a senior official.

Col Mohammed al Mur, director general of the Dubai Police general department of legal and disciplinary control, said the financial crisis put a strain on companies’ finances, forcing some to delay salary payment between a week and several months.

“But as our priority is to protect workers we had to intervene and help workers regain their rights,” he explained.

The Dubai Police’s center for the monitoring of human trafficking, which has received 344 worker complaints – 76 percent were salary related – since it opened in February 2006,  gave the companies a week to pay workers their outstanding salaries, al Mur said.

“We have made it clear to companies that we will not tolerate any delays or non-payments of salaries, and violating companies have been referred to court and we will continue to do so in the future.”

However, neither the center nor al Mur disclosed the number of companies involved in the operation.

Maurizio Bussi, the deputy regional director for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), lauded Dubai Police’s initiatives, but called for more transparency.

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  1. Craig on October 11, 2009 1:00 pm

    Until we ‘name and shame’ these companies, as is done in many other parts of the world, this will continue to happen. Why there is such stigma attached to making examples of these companies is puzzling…

  2. sleepless in Sharjah on October 13, 2009 10:44 am

    because Craig, it’s not the companies alone that are responsible for not being able to pay for their staff. they need to receive payments from the clients too, and guess who is taking their own time in paying contractors their money for all these large-scale projects?


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