Image Credit: XPRESS/Pankaj Sharma

Streamline companies

Stress is a major cause of suicides and hence it's important to streamline companies (Stress In The City, page 8-9, February 17).

There are companies that do not follow rules and regulations. Employees are supposed to be paid at the end of every month. But many companies pay only on the 15th of the following month!

Moreover, these companies do not follow the five-day work week. These problems lead to stress and desperation among employees.

If employees do not get their pay at the month-end, how will they pay rent, water, electricity and transport bills or buy food? Authorities need to ensure that these companies pay employees on time. The five-day work week rule must be implemented to help employees lead a stress-free life!

Name withheld, Sharjah

Stress problem

This article will not help much because "stress" is a common phenomenon in GCC countries. Employers are taking advantage of the current job crisis. Expatriates are the worst affected.

In our company, Asian expatriates are either laid off or are overworked. If we complain, we get a straight reply: "Work or leave — there are thousands in the market to work for us!"

Name withheld, Sharjah

Work smart

I have always stressed on the philosophy of working smart. If an employee works late hours every day, then it's a problem — either the person is unfit for the job or the job requires more than one person. In either case, the problem needs to be addressed. As for work-related stress — it completely depends on the employee. Companies, marriages or children don't exactly cause stress. People are stressed when they fail to identify what's important to them or when they become too greedy!

So educate yourself, fight for your rights and act righteously so that you are not stressed.

Your health is in your hands — and not in the hands of your employer, spouse or children.

Mehdi Raza, Dubai

Unfair treatment

Yes, everyone can complain to the Ministry of Labour, but there are a thousand and one ways for an employer to counter complaints. We not only face long workings hours but also unfair treatment and prejudice at the workplace. Our salaries are always delayed. We never complain because those who have filed complaints before have got nothing. There's nothing we can do.

Name withheld, Dubai

Working conditions

Unless working conditions improve and government authorities take care of workers' benefits, nothing is going to work. We have talked about these problems for the last 20 years… there have been several surveys and research reports. More reports may come up in the next 20 years... but I'm sure nothing is going to change!

Chris, UAE

Nothing works

All that the article highlights looks good only on paper. Unfortunately, nothing seems to work here. The problem with us is that we take life too seriously. The key to healthy life is in our hands… If we fall sick no employer or colleague will help us out. Only our family will suffer. Working long hours can adversely affect employee efficiency.

Jaffz, Dubai

Thanks for the article

Thanks XPRESS and the UAE Labour Department for showing some concern on this issue. There are many who work more than eight hours a day for six days a week and still don't get any increments.

Name withheld, Sharjah

Be sensible

I grew up in Dubai and am aware of the apparent problems (Parents Panic Over Milkman, pages 6-7, February 17). However, your report seems to have exaggerated certain facts. There are many illegal vendors selling alcohol to youngsters in the UAE — and this has been going on for at least 10 years now. I remember when I was young, a few of my friends used to contact some guys to drop off crates of alcohol at home. However, if parents are sensible, this situation can be avoided. Underage teenagers are always going to drink. So parents can accept the fact that their children drink and allow them to do so at a limited level in the safety of their homes or they can let them drink outside and get into trouble. Teenagers need to make mistakes and learn from them.

Name withheld, UK

Must read

This article is an eye-opener. Parents must read this report. Many feel that children are much safer here in the UAE than in the UK. While this is true, teenagers and parents must realise the legal consequences of underage drinking in the UAE.

Simon Rangecroft

Call for a clean society

Teenagers are the future leaders of our nation. If they spoil their lives by getting into illegal activities, then who would lead our nation? This is a serious matter. Please arrest the culprits and take strict action against them - possibly long-term imprisonment or even life terms. Dubai Police must conduct sting operations to catch the culprits. We, as expatriates and locals, must also cooperate with the officers. After all, we need a clean society.

Name withheld, Dubai

Fast money

A couple of years' back I met a guy who was without visa. When I asked him about his source of income, he answered: "Selling alcohol"! He was part of a group of Filipinos who pushed liquor from Ajman to other parts of the UAE. He quoted Dh30,000 as the average monthly income per head! This seemed like a popular way to earn quick bucks! I am sure authorities are aware of such people.

Name withheld, Sharjah

Spend time with teens

Our children are being exposed to bootleggers who offer them both alcohol and drugs. Some parents have no time to spend with their children. They don't even want to understand their children's need for love and attention. They are busy with work, making money, attending parties, etc. How many of these parents interact with their kids? Please find time to take care of your children. All family members must gather together at least once a day.

Tini, Dubai

Stop the milkman

My husband had gone to a park in Arabian Ranches after we became suspicious of our son's whereabouts. The park had around 40 teenagers in various states of inebriation — girls fighting, boys on the verge of passing out, etc. None of these children were concerned that an adult was observing them — of course no parent would want to call police as his or her own kids might be involved. I posted details of the incident on expatwoman.com forum, asking parents living in Arabian Ranches if they knew about their teenagers whereabouts. Next day, my son's school friends sent him e-mails and messages asking me not to report the incident to school. My son got some ‘nasty' mails and I had to change my user name on expatwoman.com. This is the problem. Teenagers can bribe security guards to party in empty villas; they get milkmen to deliver booze; some milkmen ‘sell' or ‘return' and even clean up debris. Parents must hold children accountable for their whereabouts. These milkmen must be stopped before something worse happens.

Name withheld, Dubai

Colon cancer

My father also had colon cancer and was operated at Rashid Hospital (Desperate Mum Seeks Aid, page 10, February 17). By God's grace, the operation was successful. The cost of the operation was just Dh5,000, excluding bed charges and medication. Please get yourself checked at Rashid Hospital. May God give you long life with health and keep you and your family happy always.

Sana, Dubai

How to donate

We would like to contribute Dh1,000. How can we do this?

Christine Murphy and Emad Morcos, Dubai

Monetary aid

The Engineering Department of The Address Dubai Mall Hotel would like to offer some monetary aid to Raymunda. It's not much but we do hope to be of some help to her. We also pray for the speedy recovery of Raymunda. Kindly let us know how to proceed further.

Marie Ann Lagus, Coordinator to the Director of Engineering, The Address Dubai Mall

Humble contribution

I would like to make a humble contribution towards Raymunda V. De Jesus' treatment costs.

Grace Furtado, Dubai

Editor's note: Thank you for your overwhelming response. The contact number for Raymunda V. De Jesus is 050-576 3291 and for Leonilo Neil De Jesus it is 050-716 2850.

I would like to thank XPRESS for highlighting this issue (Stress In The City, page 8-9, February 17).

The lower class is born not just to serve others. We too have a life. After all, we are human beings and not machines.

I request the UAE government to implement the law on maximum working hours across all sectors. Every employee must have the same working hours.

I work as a shop manager in the retail sector and feel that I may have been better off working as a labourer at a construction site. A labourer at least gets his Fridays off. He has limited working hours.

After so much education, I work like a slave just to give a good life to my family — all at the cost of my health! The Ministry of Labour should keep a track on companies that treat their employees unfairly.

Employees like us always live with a fear of losing our jobs and hence constantly work under stress. All new laws benefit only the upper class. Lower and middle class employees always suffer.

There are companies in the UAE that treat staff badly and make them work under tremendous pressure. These companies do not follow the UAE labour laws. The top bosses of some of these companies do not even know what goes on in these organisations and how line and area managers harass junior employees.

The UAE is a land of dreams. No country offers so many opportunities. It's a safe and cosmopolitan nation and if the government takes care of those who work hard to keep this city moving, the nation will only progress further.

Hope to see some changes soon.

Name withheld, Dubai