UAE: Mixed response from companies implicated in alleged migrant labour abuse at Trump International Golf Club


(photo credit: The New York Times)

In August 2017, the New York Times reported on labour rights abuses at the Trump International Golf Club in Damac Hills in Dubai. According to the allegations, migrant workers employed by Al Arif Contracting (a subcontractor working on the project) experienced frequent delays in payment of wages, confiscation of their passports, and sub-standard housing. Six of the workers interviewed had paid recruitment fees to agents in order to secure employment. In a statement to the New York Times, a company spokesperson for Trump Organization responded saying: “Trump is not the owner or developer of Trump International Golf Club Dubai nor does it oversee construction or employ or supervise any of the companies or individuals who have been retained to work on the building of the project...Trump has a zero-tolerance policy...To the extent any worker at the project believes they are being treated improperly, we would urge them to immediately notify their employer and the proper governmental authorities.”

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Damac Properties and Al Arif Group to respond to the allegations and invited Trump Organization to provide further comment. Only Damac Properties responded.

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Company non-response
25 September 2017

Al Arif Group did not respond

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Al Arif Group to respond to allegations of labour rights abuse of its workers employed at the Trump International Golf Club in Damac Hills. Al Arif Group did not respond.

Company non-response
25 September 2017

Trump Organization did not respond

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Trump Organization to provide a more detailed response to its alleged links to labour abuses at the Trump International Golf Club in Damac Hills. Trump Organization did not respond -- a response was however provided in the original article (below). 

Company response
17 September 2017

DAMAC Group responded re allegations of labour rights abuses

Author: DAMAC Properties (UAE)

With reference to the New York Times article which focused on the non-payment of migrant workers, we refute the claims made by the reporter which put DAMAC and Trump International Golf Club in an inaccurate context. DAMAC Properties and its fully-owned property and entity, Trump International Golf Club Dubai, has an impeccable record of paying its employees on time and fulfilling its obligations towards them. DAMAC Properties commissions a host of contractors to carry out work on its projects and, as such, does not employ any workers as suggested in the article. Furthermore, the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, which is the regulator of the labour market, has confirmed that DAMAC Properties has no connection with the issues mentioned.

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Author: العربي الجديد

"أجور متأخرة للعمال المهاجرين في ملعب ترامب للغولف في دبي.. من المسؤول؟"، 28 أغسطس 2017

أشار تقرير صادر في صحيفة "نيويوك تايمز" الأميركية إلى أن العمال المهاجرين الذين يعملون في نادي ترامب الدولي للغولف في إمارة دبي، لم يتقاضوا رواتبهم الشهرية منذ أشهر. وبحسب التقرير...فإن العمال، خاصة من دول كالهند، النيبال، باكستان، لم يتقاضوا رواتبهم منذ فترة، وبالتالي لم يتمكنوا من إرسال الأموال الى ذويهم، ما يعرض عائلات هؤلاء العمال للجوع، إذ إنهم يعتمدون بشكل لافت على ما يرسله ذووهم. وبحسب التقرير، لا يكترث العمال بالحرارة المرتفعة، أو ساعات العمل الطويلة، بل يشعرون بأنهم يعملون في أهم المواقع التابعة للرئيس الأميركي، ولا يتقاضون الرواتب، ما يثير غضبهم... ولا تدير شركة الرئيس "مؤسسة ترامب" آليات عمل العمال، إذ إن إدارة تلك الملكيات تتم عن طريق شراكتها مع شركة داماك، التي تعد من أكبر المطوِرين العقاريين في دبي. ويجني العمال المهاجرون بين 200 إلى 400 دولار شهرياً، وهي الأموال التي يتقاضونها عادة بعد أسابيع أو أشهر من التأخير، الأمر الذي تسبَب في إضرابات أخيراً...وكان معظم العمال الذين قابلتهم صحيفة "نيويورك تايمز" مُوظَّفين لدى شركة بناء محلية، هي شركة العارف للمقاولات، المتعاقدة مع شركة داماك لبناء أجزاء من الملعب والفيلات المحيطة به في مشروع داماك هيلز...

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26 August 2017

Late Wages for Migrant Workers at a Trump Golf Course in Dubai

Author: Peter S. Goodman, New York Times

The Trump International Golf Club, which officially opened in February, is the centerpiece of Damac Hills, a gated complex of 4,000 luxury villas and 7,500 condos selling for up to $4 million each… While the president’s company, the Trump Organization, is not the workers’ employer, it manages the properties through a partnership with Damac, one of Dubai’s largest real estate developers…The migrant workers make $200 to $400 a month, money that frequently comes weeks or months late, prompting recent strikes...The workers say they struggle to cover debts amassed in paying recruitment agents for their jobs, while confronting physical hardships and violations of their rights under local labor laws. Most of the workers interviewed...have been employees of a local construction company, Al Arif, which has a contract from Damac to build parts of the course and surrounding villas at Damac Hills…The workers at Al Arif…described a constant state of anxiety over when they would be paid…[T]he workers said their employer held their passports, which also violates national law…

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