Migrant Workers in UAE Protest for Higher Pay
Hundreds of migrant workers have taken to the streets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to express their anger at their inadequate wages.
On Sunday, the laborers gathered and shouted slogans to demand a rise in their wages along a road leading to the Al Maktoum International Airport in the port town of Jebel Ali, 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of the city of Dubai.
The demonstration came at a time that the airport is hosting the biennial Dubai Airshow. The event started on Sunday and will end on Thursday, with over 1,100 exhibitors and 65,000 trade visitors attending.
The Bu Haleeba Contracting Company, which employs several migrant workers in the Persian Gulf state, refrained from commenting on the issue.
Many foreigners, who are employed in the construction industry in some Persian Gulf Arab states such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, face exploitation and have little recourse to basic rights.
The laborers reportedly face passport confiscation, non-payment of wages, excessive work, food deprivation and psychological as well as physical abuse, Press TV reported.
Various international rights organizations have called on the Persian Gulf Arab states to take urgent action to protect the rights of the migrant workers.
In 2013, the UAE had the fifth-largest international migrant population in the world with 7.8 million migrants mostly coming from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt and the Philippines.