2007/06/26

And Speaking of Lack of Curiosity ...

on the part of Gulf News, why run this article about workers wanting better pay without telling us the company name?

1 comment:

kochumanavalan said...

The situation is the same for staff of most cleaning companies. For example, the guys cleaning our office say they get the same pay (as mentioned in the article, without the overtime) and work a 10-hour day (8 am to 6 pm).

To get here by 8, they rise at 4, prepare themselves and their meals for the day (those who can afford the groceries; those who can't, elect to skip some meals) to catch their bus to work at 6. It's a 2-hour commute from their accomodation in Sharjah to work places in Dubai. After work, they wait for the bus again to take them back, often reaching their rooms by 9 or 10 (depending on how many stops the bus makes, and where, to pick up other colleagues). Then they wash clothes and do other chores before they hit the sack, only to rise at 4 again the next morning. Penalties for absenteeism and so on are very high.

It's saddening to see new recruits come in from India, often not knowing a word of English or Hindi, and watch as in about two months time, they are reduced to a shadow of their former selves, haggard, dark circles under their eyes, and literally skin on bone as they admit they cant afford to pay their share for the groceries, so they keep skipping meals.

It would seem some of these companies withhold initial salaries to keep them from running away.

If these examples do not make a case for a minimum wage in the UAE, then what will?