200 labourers demand more

200 labourers demand more holidays and more increments

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  July 2, 2005

A row has erupted between Abu Dhabi-based Airlines Contracting and General Maintenance Company, and 200 of its employees. The workers are demanding longer holidays and pay increases which the company says it cannot meet. The company has accused the workers of making unfeasible demands. The accusation came to light when 200 labourers lodged a complaint with the labour authorities, claiming they haven’t been paid for three months. Francis Bosco, the general secretary of the company, said that some of the workers have complained to the Ministry of Labour in order to get the company to accept their demands. “A group of labourers have made demands which we cannot meet,” Bosco told Construction Week. “They drafted out a list with their signatures. One of the demands was that if any worker intends to go on leave after one year of service, he should be allowed to take three months off. Another demand was that if a worker asks for emergency leave, he should be granted two months off and AED1000 paid to him in advance.” Bosco said he took the demand letter to the Ministry of Labour who said that the demands did not have any basis in the local labour law. “We have never defaulted in paying their salaries. We provide accommodation and pay them incentives and overtime as well. We have records and certified accounts from the Ministry of Labour to prove our case. We are a ten-year-old local company and we’ve never had any problems with our labour before,” added Bosco. He also claimed that the Ministry of Labour has asked for the names of those workers. “The Ministry of Labour has said that it would have no problem issuing visas for new recruits if it cancels the visas of the employees in question. This move was not initiated by the company, but by the Labour department,” said Bosco. The workers who were involved in the row were unavailable for comment.

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