Wednesday, November 23, 2005


One of the problems we hear about very often here is the one of unpaid wages. And the individuals that are most affected by this problem are the ones that can least afford it.

It's the people who come here, dirt poor, hoping to be able to provide the families they left back home with a better future.

It's the people who live in groups of 10 or 15 in a one-bedroom apartment.

It's the people who work in the blazing sun 10 hours a day.

It's the people who earn an average of $500 a month, and send more than half their salaries back home.

It's the people who have no choice but to keep working for the company that does not pay them, because they cannot go anywhere else.

To all the people managing companies who are guilty of not paying wages to their workers: you should be taken to court, and your sentence should be to live the life of one of your labourers, work as hard as them, live in cramped apartments, save every penny....Then, maybe, just maybe, you'll understand that you are committing a crime.

My sister told me that one day at work, she overheard a conversation between a labourer and a fellow reporter. The worker was crying (yes, a grown man, crying) because his company had not paid him for several months.

Luckily the Dubai government has finally decided to do something about this, by setting up a hotline workers can call to be able to fastrack any grievances...I really hope that this will actually make a difference. I really hope it's not too little too late.

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