People in our industry need to be treated well

I was recently interviewing someone at a multinational firm about a project he had done, when he was informed by his secretary that an employee had taken the day off when an important job was going on. The interviewee instantly asked for the person’s visa to be cancelled.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  November 13, 2006

I|~||~||~|Recently, a report released by Human Rights Watch in New York stated that there were serious abuses of workers’ rights by their employers in the United Arab Emirates. While the report itself was referring primarily to the status of construction workers and other unskilled labourers in the country, we have seen several people higher up the chain also being subject to bans and threats of a ban or a visa cancellation simply because they decided to leave their current jobs for something more promising in the country, or because they annoyed their employers about something. I was recently interviewing someone at a big multinational firm about a project he had done. While I was sitting there and taking down notes, the interviewee was informed by his secretary that one of his employees had taken the day off for a personal reason. The interviewee went berserk because this was not the first time and instantly called someone in the administration department, and told them to cancel the person’s visa. I am not contesting the fact that he may have had his reasons for doing what he did but just the fact that he can decide to cancel an employee’s visa in a fit of anger compels us to question if this is a just system. It compels workers to live in fear and does not bring out the best in them. Over the last three years, I have met many disgruntled people in the broadcast and production industry – skilled workers who have been tied down to their jobs because their bosses have threatened to ban them if they quit for greener pastures. How good is that for an industry, which demands long hours and a lot of creativity from people? I am sure both employers and employees will want to express their points of view. We welcome you to share your experience with us. ||**||

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