As the economy suffers, even profitable UAE companies leave employees in the lurch
Date Reported: 5 Jun 2020
Location: United Arab Emirates
CompaniesEmaar - Client, Kempinski Hotels - Client, Rochester Institute of Technology - Dubai - Client, Sobha Engineering & Contracting LLC - Employer, Sobha Group - Employer, Al Wasl - Client
Total individuals affected: 500Migrant & immigrant workers: (Number unknown - India, Construction)
IssuesIntimidation & Threats, Non-payment of Wages, Precarious/unsuitable living conditions, Failing to renew visas
Response sought: Yes, by Resource Centre; NGO (SECL & Sobha)
Story containing response: (Find out more)
Action taken: The chairman of SECL stated to Migrant Rights that the issue was primarily on of "business" and denied that any workers were "severely affected". He did acknowledge that staff salaries are pending. He also stated that emergency requests were being met, despite evidence from Migrant Rights demonstrating that workers' repeated emails went unanswered and no workers confirmed this. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Sobha Group and SECL to respond to the allegations listed above; they did not respond. The Resource Centre contacted Kempinski, Al Wasl, Emaar and Rochester Institute of Technology to invite them to respond to SECL chairman's comments that “clients have stopped paying, even though they had received the completed property and started using it.” Kempinski responded that they did not have any contractual arrangement with SECL. No other companies responded. RIT-Dubai did share a letter from SECL to the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority which confirmed DSOA had paid SECL and that no workers on the RIT-Dubai project were unpaid.
Source type: NGO
SECL has stopped paying [hundreds of workers'] salaries even as projects were completed or underway. The company began delaying salaries from June 2018, paying only once every four to five months...
"Employees, both those who have left and those who continue to work, are afraid to speak up, let alone file a complaint with MOHRE as they fear losing their hard-earned money"...
Emails from staff to the company from as early as January 2019 register complaints of non-payments...
staff are owed an average of five months unpaid wages and the workers two months, in addition to any end of service benefits... Many of their visas have also expired