Jan 26, 2011
DUBAI // Seventy Arabtec workers were detained by police yesterday in connection with a protest to demand a wage increase.
The workers remain in custody, where they are being questioned in relation to inciting a protest and creating trouble at their camp.
Colonel Mohammed al Mur, director general of Dubai Police General Department of Legal and Disciplinary Control, said: “Depending on the extent of their actual involvement in the disorder, and depending on the veracity of claims that they threatened and coerced their co-workers into not working, we will decide what legal action will be taken against them.”
About 3,000 Arabtec workers began protests two weeks ago, demanding a salary increase. Negotiations between the workers, company and authorities have been ongoing since.
“We had been trying to provide solutions to the problem for the last 10 days. We gave workers the option to either go back to work or ask the company to cancel their papers and send them back home. Currently, the majority of the workers are weighing these two options,” said Col al Mur.
However, 70 workers continued to instigate protests and create disorder at the camp.
Col al Mur said many workers had expressed a desire to go back to work, but claimed this group had prevented them from doing so.
The General Department of Legal and Disciplinary Control is a Dubai Police unit. Part of their duty is to monitor the working and living conditions of expatriate workers.