Work harder for pay rise

That is the advice for Dubai labourers from a top construction boss

Construction workers who protested against low wages in Dubai on Monday have been told by bosses that they need to increase their productivity if they want to earn more money.

The striking labourers agreed to return to work after holding further discussions with management at construction giant Al Habtoor Engineering on Tuesday, its managing director David Savage told news portal Arabian Business.

Half the workers on the Dubai construction sites that were affected by Monday’s protests did not show up for work on Tuesday, Savage added.

“I wouldn’t call it a strike. They were still wanting more discussions, which we’ve had…and we believe they will all be back at work this afternoon or tomorrow morning,” he said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon.

“The result has been to clarify for the workforce that their ability to earn more salary, through whatever mechanism, is there, and it’s tied to productivity. And with that explanation they’ve been satisfied and willing to go back to work.”

Savage would not explain in detail how that productivity could be measured.

“It depends. There are very, very many different ways. It depends on what the person’s role is...Productivity is not a simple issue. The company earns value based on its output so if a worker, including one of the labourers, is productive, then we are happy to share the proportion of revenue.”

Al Habtoor workers told UAE media outlets on Monday that they were currently being paid between Dhs500 ($136) and Dhs700 per month.

Hundreds of Dubai labourers took to the streets on Monday to demonstrate against low wages and the lack of overtime pay in the city’s troubled construction sector.

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