ICBU Victims hotline receives dozens of complaints from Asian workers in Dubai
The new victims’ hotline announced by the International Campaign to Boycott UAE(ICBU) has attracted considerable interest from Asian workers who fell victims of UAE unfair labour laws and regulations. The hotline which seeks to help the victims of UAE received 38 complaints from workers trapped in UAE or those who were kicked or died in the country. ICBU hence, can’t release all stories and complaints until they are by independent third parties.
Complaints received through our hotline demonstrate that the Dubai authorities gave no attention to the well-being of workers at many levels. Workers lacked proper health care, access to decent accommodation, hygienic food and sanitary tools. Some of the complaints showed the lack of mercy from bosses on shifts who obliged workers to work for more than 17 hours at some cases.
Copies of complaints have been passed to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for further investigations.
Below some briefs for few of the cases we received. Names are not shown in full as the victims are still in UAE. Showing the names my put the victims in danger.
Ramana has worked in Dubai for 7 years in the field of construction. He witnessed the death and injury of few workers. Ramana is now in India where he left Dubai after being kiked due to his disagreement with the contractor he worked for.
Ramana sent his story to ICBU where it reads as follow, “I hope you could tell my story to the world so you can help many people who are there. They need a voice to get their rights. I was deported from Dubai because I called on my bosses for more health and safety measures. I worked at building site in the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour. Over a period of 2 months, 5 workers fell down and died, 4 others were fatly injured with lifetime disability. Despite these facts, the company did nothing to help us. When some of us spoke out, they sacked us. Our salaries were not paid. We were treated like criminals.”
Recently, 45 years N. Chittam died in Dubai as well as three from his village of Kalleda in India in just one month. They died due to lack of health and safety measures at the workplace where the contractor failed to provide the basic regulations of safety.
Aadhishankar, 34, provided a harrowing account of the conditions faced by workers who are physically abused by their managers.
“I suffer from health issues which makes it difficult for me to work for long time. Yet, at the workplace in Dubailand, the entertainment complex, nothing will give you s special treatment. You are hired to do the job no matter if its hot or no enough food or water. I was deprived from my salary for few weeks as I could not work more than 10 hours per day. I was also verbally abused and sometimes physically assaulted by the line mangers who were Indians like me and sometimes Arabs.”
Racita B. and Qayyam A.
“An Indian contractor brought us to Dubai back in 2014 where he promised to work in mobile shop as technicians. Yet, when we arrived to Dubai, we found that the contractor deceived us, when we reported this case to the police they did nothing to give us justice. We were locked in a prison for 7 months before we were deported to India. They dealt with us as thugs and thieves despite us being experts in the world of electronics. I see that Dubai has no respect to non-UAE citizens, we see it as racist system”
The International Campaign to Boycott UAE will circulate the stories of these victims to International trade unions and labour organisations to help improve their living conditions in UAE.
The campaign will release more stories of those victims in Dubai and other parts of UAE.