Dubai police inspect labour camps
Dubai, November 15, 2007
Dubai's police began inspecting labourers' housing on Wednesday to check if employers were meeting government standards after construction workers downed tools and rioted to demand better pay and conditions.
A police department that monitors human rights violations started visiting labour camps run by building contractors and will be allowed to record complaints from workers about accommodation, the official news agency WAM said.
About 35,000 workers at the country's largest construction firm by market value, Arabtec Holding, went on strike for about 10 days for better pay. They also asked for safer working conditions and better accommodation.
South Asian labour, mainly from India and Pakistan, is the backbone of the booming Dubai construction industry, which is involved in creating palm-tree shaped man-made islands and the world's tallest skyscraper.
The UAE cabinet earlier this month called for urgent action on pay for foreign labourers.
Foreigners, including labourers and executives, comprise over 85 percent of the UAE's 4 million population. - Reuters