UAE: Report alleges Accor workers pushed further into recruitment debt as hotel work dries up; incl. co. response
In April 2020, The Guardian reported on the case of two migrant workers who were working at Accor managed hotels in the United Arab Emirates. The workers stated that the company is holding their last month of pay while they face uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic. The workers are reportedly being housed in rooms of six people and state that they do not have money to afford cleaning products to sanitise the accommodation.
Migrant workers across the Gulf, many of whom work in hospitality, are stuck in destination countries owing to companies placing them on furlough or making them redundant, and travel bans mean repatriation is impossible.
Accor stated that they have made no redundancies at two of its UAE hotels as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. They did not respond to the paper's questions regarding salary or working conditions. In line with UAE labour law, Accor is continuing to provide its workers with food and accommodation.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Accor to respond to the article and these outstanding questions. Accor reiterated to us that they are abiding by local law in all jurisdictions where they have workers and that this includes providing workers with food and rent-free accommodation. They did not respond to the specific issues raised in the Guardian article; their response can be read in full below.