06 November, 2006

Guest Workers

Interesting article from the Los Angeles Times about a problem with farming guest workers.

Note that the going rate is $9 US per hour., a standard working day is 8 hours, so $72 US per day or 260 dhs per day. This is for unskilled labor to work on a farm.

The company that hired them, Sierra-Cascade Nursery of seasonable, Calif., is now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, which oversees the guest worker program. They lied to workers about food and living conditions, etc.

This happens everywhere, not just here. The upside about the California story is that the federal govt. has gotten involved and the workers have representation from a nonprofit group set up to represent guest workers.

Perhaps something similar in the UAE would be a plus. Most articles you read in the International press bring up the labor problems here, not a positive thing for the country.

4 comments:

archer14 said...

I guess you have no idea of the fact that a certain problem/event will find its way in the papers when it gets completely out of hand.
Especially when the labourers in question are paid under a dollar per hour of hard, strenuous labour.
Holy shit, 9$ per hour. Not even 75% of the professionals here get paid that much.

Woke said...

You said it archer.

blogrosh said...

It's unfair to blame the UAE authorities for all bad/unfortunate events in the UAE. People who orchestrate such hideous acts against humanity are the first & foremost culprits. I know of a few Arab & Indian/Pakistani labour supply organization mafias who are the worst criminals. They are the ones who do not value people's lives.

Although, I agree with the fact that issues need to better identified, better guidelines and laws is needed in the UAE - it's also unfair to compare US ways of working with the UAE. I mean UAE is only 35 years old - and until 40 years ago the black community were mistreated like no other in the US.

MN said...

Perhaps you missed my point, I am not comparing in a negative light the UAE and US.

I am saying it is possible to have "guidelines" from the host country and that this should be enforced on the people employing the workers.

While it is not printed here, there are many articles (not good) about the labor situation here in International ciculation. I think the UAE is a great place (I'm American) and I think the way to "upgrade" it's position in the International community is to keep dealing with this problem in an open forum. Denying that there is a problem (as some of the companies who shall remain nameless do) does not keep the truth from getting out there. In the end, it only makes the UAE look bad. International press loves a scandal, if one says "Yes there is a problem and we are working to get it straightened out," this is not nearly as sensational as to completely deny something exists when evidence proves the contrary.

Better to face it head on and try fixing it than pretend it does not exist.

And yes, blacks have gotten the short end of the stick in the US. But even so, there are laws in place to protect them. Sometimes the circumstances did not make this easy and that is something one cannot be proud of, but the laws exist.

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