Workers playing basketball at the Al Rostamani staff accommodation in Sonapur. The PCLA has taken several measures to ensure that workers were provided all facilities promised them. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: No protests by workers have been reported in Dubai this year, says a senior official.

Major-General Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, chairman of the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai (PCLA) and deputy director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, told Gulf News that it happened because the workers had been educated about their rights and responsibilities.

He said most of the protests by the workers in the past were held over non-payment of salaries and accommodation issues.

 We are working to protect workers’ rights. Our strategy is to solve all labour problems at the earliest.”

 - Major-General Obaid Muhair Bin Surour | Chairman of the PCLA 

The PCLA helped resolve disputes between workers and companies before they boiled over into protests, Major General Bin Surour said.

“We are working to protect workers’ rights. Our strategy is to solve all labour problems at the earliest. We have a monitoring system to know if there is a problem and we solve it,” he added.

He said this year, the PCLA inspected 1,269 labour accommodations in Jebel Ali, Al Muhaisnah and Al Quoz areas, housing 638,000 workers, to make sure they have the best living conditions.

workers’ housing clusters in three areas were inspected

“Our inspectors visited the labour accommodations to check that the workers get the best facilities and there have been no violation of rules and regulations. The workers are an important part of the society and we must provide them the best facilities,” he said.

“We registered violation of rules and regulations at only 11 accommodations, where more than four workers were sleeping in a room or they were cooking in their rooms or there were some hygiene issues. We spoke with their companies to solve the problems.”

inspection visits made to the housing clusters in the three areas

Meanwhile, as many as 19,500 workers in Dubai attended awareness and training programmes in the first six months this year to raise their knowledge of their rights and responsibilities.

“It is essential to raise workers’ awareness about UAE’s culture, rules and regulations. Our target is to educate 100,000 workers in this regard by the end of this year,” Major General Bin Suroor said.

workers attended training sessions in first six months of 2018

The workers were told about their rights and responsibilities, laws regulations and culture in the UAE and health and safety issues at their workplace. The workers were also informed about the channels to whom they should contact if they need any help.

The workers were also briefed on the criminal procedural law and how to seek help to protect their rights.

The awareness sessions for the workers were held at the centres for medical fitness tests.

The PCLA official said they have not recorded any violation so far of the midday break for workers during summer months.

workers were staying in those clusters in the three areas

“We have five inspection teams that visit work sites everyday to make sure all companies are following the midday break rule. We recorded zero violation so far in this regard,” Maj Gen Bin Surour said.

The midday break rule by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation prevents any work in the sun between 12.30pm and 3pm from June 15 to September 15. Violating companies are fined Dh5,000 per worker and a maximum of Dh50,000 if the violation involves a large number of workers.