Migrants’ woes in Dubai worker campsPosted: February 11, 2005
More people ought to know about this:
[BBC] Original Article
This portion I found particularly horrific:
Regis Johns is the manager of the company that brought Venkatesan and his colleagues from India. I asked him why the salaries had not been paid.
“Our company has gone through certain financial crises for the past one and a half years,” he says. “We said we’d definitely pay them. In fact, we offered them two months’ salary the day before yesterday.”
Mr Johns admits the company holds all its employees’ passports – a common practice in the UAE even though it is illegal.
It is also illegal for workers to strike, which means the employees of Mr Johns’ company are being asked to work without pay and without the documents to return home.
But Mr Johns rejects any notion that this amounts to slave labour.
“We’re against any kind of slavery system here,” he says.
“I can show you the document they signed before coming here, which states the hourly rate, the terms and conditions of the systems out here. They willingly sign this – and only then do we process their visas to come.”
Mr Johns denied the company kept employees in the country against their will and said it was working hard to find the money for the missing salaries.