30 October, 2007

Star Article

Sadly another star article from the last few days got less attention from bloggers than the Washingtonpost's extravaganza:

Dubai Strike Threatens Building Boom
Associated Press

Complimented by Rupee gives expats sleepless nights & UAE threatens deportation after violent protest it could compete with The Arabian Heights.


Personal opinion: the salaries of the construction workers should be doubled as a first step.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

They should not give out...a salary raise should come at a time where it appears to come from themselves....otherwise you will have a protest every week

Editor said...

Surely, from strategic point of view that's correct.
It's only me: I couldn't bear to see the exhausted skinny labourers suffering over few hundreds dirhams.......especially knowing what the developers, the construction companies & the architects (let alone the real estate brokers) are making.

Anonymous said...

the truth!!!

nick said...

editor, YES. Let's all stand up together and sing the Internationale!!

Developers, architects, construction managers earn what they're worth. Labourers earn what they are worth.

Sure, why now double the labourers' wages. That's fine by me if we also double the overall construction cost and fees and if you and the general public agree with doubled house prices or rents.

Because any raise will just be passed on to the consumer.

Editor said...

Allover cost of life went up by at least 35% during the last 2,3 years only. Proportionally the salaries in various sectors were gradually increased.
Even since March the minimum salary for Filipino housemaid went up to 1400 AED from 732 AED.
the construction workers were left at the bottom?

http://www.dubaichronicle.com/2007/10/etisalat-will-raise-employee-wages-b-10.html

http://www.dubaichronicle.com/2007/09/over-8-of-uae-population-heads-for-exit.html

http://www.dubaichronicle.com/2007/05/sruler-orders-30-salary-increase-for.html

http://www.dubaichronicle.com/2007/10/uae-property-investors-to-benefit-from.html

khaled-ad said...

I am not with increasing the salaries because it will eventually affect all of us including the worker themselves. Cost of constructions would increase and so would the overall cost of living. However, these unscupulous real estate developers should be monitored well to make sure that workers get the proper housing and receive their salaries when due and to stop any frudulent deduction from the workers' salaries to cover their travelling expenses.

Bridget Jones said...

Hate to agree with Nick on this, (as I would normally support a raise in labourers' wages), but indeed all costs will be passed on to the end-user.

Now, is there a way to avoid that by getting companies to absorb the added cost without passing it on to the consumer? Utopic..??

Editor said...

In my opinion (& not only mine) different measure should be taken. A revaluation of the dirham, which is currently estimated to 30 to 35 per cent undervalued against the US currency may be a solution as the dirham is pegged to the dollar.
The dirham has lost heavily in purchasing power. A weaker dollar is also causing a decline in the value of dollar denominated assets and investments, which underlines the urgent need for revaluation or even depegging.

http://www.dubaichronicle.com/2007/09/sharp-fall-in-dirhams-purchasing-power.html

Emirati said...

This only goes to prove the restraint and discipline with which the UAE government operated with.

Contrary to what is depicted in that Clooney fuckup movie, Syriana.

In clooney's own country (the US), if you pelt a police officer with a rock, if you attack police en mass and topple their cars, you get shot in the face.

Emirati said...

Let it be known that terrorist and mercenary acts like these are not tolerated by the UAE government, and Good fucking riddance to all 4000 of the rioters.

i*maginate said...

emirati, though I agree with your sentiments, it baffles me as to how you are so for law and order yet you slam the Chief of Police on your blog.

Kyle said...

In clooney's own country (the US), if you pelt a police officer with a rock, if you attack police en mass and topple their cars, you get shot in the face.

It generally occurs when you take advantage of somebody.

I'm sure if you were there, you'd have swung your 9-iron, that is if you have one!

Kyle said...

Good fucking riddance to all 4000 of the rioters.

Heard the term it ain't over until the fat lady sings?

small m said...

As far as we know, the "rioters" were protesting because they hadn't received the pay and increments that were promised and due to them. Oh, and why did they "topple" the Police cars? Just like that? For a fancy? Emirati, I have to put it to you that you enjoy living in denial and may continue to live in that blissful fantasyland for as long as you want to.

Here's the cherry on the cake: the epitome of intellect and knowledge--"good riddance to the 4000..."!!!!

Yes, we'll just get another 4000...from the same place of course....we'll treat them the same way....we've always been doing that, so we don't know any other way...and then of course, we'll start looking for the next 4000 a few months down the line,,,meanwhile our towers continue to reach for the sky...!!!

small m said...

As far as we know, the "rioters" were protesting because they hadn't received the pay and increments that were promised and due to them. Oh, and why did they "topple" the Police cars? Just like that? For a fancy? Emirati, I have to put it to you that you enjoy living in denial and may continue to live in that blissful fantasyland for as long as you want to.

Here's the cherry on the cake: the epitome of intellect and knowledge--"good riddance to the 4000..."!!!!

Yes, we'll just get another 4000...from the same place of course....we'll treat them the same way....we've always been doing that, so we don't know any other way...and then of course, we'll start looking for the next 4000 a few months down the line,,,meanwhile our towers continue to reach for the sky...!!!

nick said...

one of the key reasons for these strikes / riots is that existingworkers get paid much less than the new arrivals, which of course creates bad feelings.

contractors now have to pay at least double to even get fresh labourers, especially since the cheapest ones, southIndians are not willing to come anymore i sufficient numbers.

You'll see more and more well fed Chinese and North Korean faces at your local building site soon.

Assistant Editor said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bridget Jones said...

Kyle, I kinda doubt we have opera-goers here if you get my drift..! ;)

Editor said...

UAE to deport 4,000 Asian workers after strikes
http://www.dubaichronicle.com/2007/10/uae-to-deport-4000-asian-workers-after.html

Anonymous said...

That's a shame: the poor people lost their jobs and (not worth
discussing it) income.
The smart, well educated, much better paid, intelligent, well spoken,
clean, happy, satisfied etc.., with the excellent computer
skills and connections, with enough time on their hands even for blogging,
are only wasting their time commenting.............

I was impressed by the explanation of the minister, who said that the
laborers should have brought their complaints to the ministry's
attention in civilized manner. Ir reads like if some one writes a proper letter to the ministry, proper actions could be taken.
I feel as we are wasting time here in sophisticated conversations...............

Anonymous said...

Developers, architects, construction managers earn what they're worth. Labourers earn what they are worth.

Sure, why now double the labourers' wages. That's fine by me if we also double the overall construction cost and fees and if you and the general public agree with doubled house prices or rents.


As expected, the ones most vehemently against raising laborers wages are the ones benefitting from the low wages, by pocketing the extra money themselves.

Constructions laborers in the US earn at least 7-8 times more than Dubai laborers, but American houses are not 7-8 times more expensive than Dubai houses. Maybe its because the "developers and managers" there are forced to limit their greed?

secretdubai said...

I've been overseas, and what shocks me is that other Asians have absolutely no bloody clue whatsoever about conditions in Dubai.

You would think by now that the message would be trickling through about the racism, inequality and poor treatment of Asian migrant workers - white and blue collar - in the Gulf. Nope.

I've spoken with Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis - some have migrated to western countries but still recently enough to have strong accents from their homelands - and they don't have the first clue about Dubai. All they've heard of is burj/money/glitz/etc. And these are the more white collar, educated, middle class people with good access to communications, English-language media, word of mouth, travel and so on.

So no wonder the poor blue collar bastards from little villages are still flocking here in their droves to a life of empoverished, indentured, rarely paid labour under the merciless Gulf sun.

Kyle said...

SD – Just like you, I too have had conversations with people from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on why is it their people come to this place to endure the hell on earth predicament.

According to these guys, no matter what one tells prospective workers about hardships, they still want to give it a shot. It’s like you don’t know what exactly pain is until you’re hurt. The same goes for these guys as well. They come, see first hand, endure, finish their contracts, go back and try passing on their hard life stories to the next batch of prospects lined up for a plane ride. It’s like a chain reaction or cycle that’s going to continue until some major authority takes an interest and cleans up this faggody mess.

Until then we’ll continue having debates, shit face and accuse each other before calling it a day!

Unless of course, law of nature intervenes by taking the law into its own hands.

rosh said...

To be honest, having these folks deported may be a quick fix -and for the time being, am all for it. As cold as it sounds, people have to understand protesting or violence of this sort, is not the norm in the UAE.

I've never seen a protest or violence of this nature, growing up in the UAE (I never saw or held an actual gun, till I moved to NYC).

Point being - personal safety is the most valuable commodity in the UAE.

Having said that - it's high time laws & governance of such laws are ironed out to protect these workers, most of whom are simply ignorant of UAE ways of working, have little education or finances. Personally, having dealt with a few "labour contractors" in the UAE - it's not just laws that are absent, but to a large extent - continued and absolute inhumane exploitation of these workers by their own countrymen. To add to the mayhem is how Vitamin W (Wasta) adds to continued exploitation and overrides whatever laws are in place.

SevenSummits said...

Rosh,
here is some super quick (deadline ;-( ) food for thought:
Many “interesting“ figures (including bin Laden) have repeated a variation of the same basic quote: "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”

One I really like is pretty old, but still extremely valid:
“The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities. in “The History of Freedom in Antiquity”, [1877] from John E. E. Dalberg / Lord Acton.

(1) There is a general tendency, that there is a correlation between socio-economic inequality and high levels of violence . Those structural observations can be found in regards to domestic violence, non-state violence and state violence. Economic inequality and security fosters intolerance, stress, social illness and, ultimately, social violence. Maybe South Africa can serve as a good example or even if you just compare the US with Northern European nations. So, in other words, you cannot treat human beings in this fashion forever – they will reach a frustration saturation level!

(2) International Law!!!!
The UAE is a signatory to several international treaties and this is simply a “breach of contract”. So no blame can be attributed to foreign criminals, if this is happening on their ground.

... personal safety is the most valuable commodity in the UAE. This must be for everyone, not just you, Khaled Ad, Kyle, Nick or me ...

Nick made an interesting comment that everyone ignored: "southIndians are not willing to come anymore in sufficient numbers."

So away with those peaceful Indians! Who will really be their substitutes (from even more deprived economies that didn’t catch up with the development game - anyone caught the hint?) and how will this affect the long term security of the UAE???

rosh said...

"So away with those peaceful Indians! Who will really be their substitutes (from even more deprived economies that didn’t catch up with the development game - anyone caught the hint?) and how will this affect the long term security of the UAE???"

Yes - it is indeed quite worrying.

Spectrum said...

Good for them! Indian rupee is getting stronger than UAE dirham , if that growing continued + uae keep doing this with the workers, all Indian workers will back to India and will but uae in massive of problems.

In the US workers salary is 50-70% of engineers or realstate agents salaries

in UAE it is some thing from 2% to 10% for the lucky one.

nick said...

About the differential between wages of labourers and professionals:
That comparison with the US is flawed because it's not an economy driven by epxartiates.
Salaries in the UAE are relative to the provenance of the expats, why? Because we all go back to our countries sooner or later. Mabe not all of us, but labourers for sure because come 2020 there won't be much construction going on any longer.

Professionals are paid a premium to come here because of the drop in security (lack of state healthcare, education, pension) and the hardship factor of working in an non democratic environment with restricted personal freedom.

A labourer from India makes still at least twice or three times as much here as he does in India for the same work. It should be remembered that most labourers do not pay extra 'fees' for coming here. Some were exploited by unscrupulous recruitment agencies, that's true but that is changing from next year.

The principle for expat salaries is
to 'keep the expat's life whole', i.e. to ensure the same lifestyle, or a higher one for expats to enable them to re-enter after the assignment.

It takes 30-40K Dhs to be able to keep a European lifestyle 'whole', and it takes only 500 -1000 DHS for an Indian labourer from a small village.

Editor said...

It use to be like that many years back...........but not any longer, I am afraid. ......Most of the skilled "expats" have far better life here than can ever dream back home.

Spectrum said...

nick

do u think that is fair !

in the big expats density like in US, UK, Australia people are getting equal ( for the same profession) regardless there origin indians, british , chines ..et

you can't say to indians you'll get less salary than eurpean cuz cost of living in ur home different .if they are doing the same job and make the same productivity.

they equal even in uae in few fields like engineers doctors...labors are equal cuz all are asian but quite unfair, most benefits going to owner & real state where they getting much more than any other place

another funny thing in uae, the blue eyes people getting very fat salary ( regardless how good they r) even much more than emaraties in the same profession

Anonymous said...

Its a sensitive isuue, and could hurt Dubai's race to become the tallest and biggest in record time, at the same time investor confidence sinks. Dubai officials should handle this fragile situation with care, or its going to backfire badly. Situation is India has changed, and unlike before, we are facing difficulty to find manual work force for domestic demand. Current attitude of workers in Dubai is 'WE WOULD LIKE TO GO BACK' rather than go through this humiliation !!! who is going to suffer collectively - DUBAI INC.

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here