Firm starts pay­ing wages but guards an­gry at de­lay

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - @nawal_ramahi By Nawal Al Ramahi

A Dubai se­cu­rity firm whose em­ploy­ees went on strike last week in a row over pay has grad­u­ally be­gun pay­ing salaries again and asked its per­son­nel to re­turn to work.

The staff staged a protest on Wed­nes­day in Al Quoz, spark­ing a re­sponse from po­lice and labour of­fi­cials, as a months-long row be­tween se­cu­rity guards and man­age­ment boiled over.

The man­age­ment had not paid its staff at all in 2016 and still owed half of De­cem­ber’s wages.

The firm - which sup­plies se­cu­rity to of­fices, ho­tels and hos­pi­tals - yes­ter­day said it had paid two weeks’ wages as of Thurs­day and is due to pay more to work­ers each Sun­day.

But staff still owed sev­eral months’ cash ex­pressed their dis­may at the sit­u­a­tion, with some telling 7DAYS they will con­tinue to strike.

“We are not get­ting any pay­ment from the com­pany. More­over, the com­pany is not pro­vid­ing any food as well. We are starv­ing. How can we go to work with­out food?” one Egyp­tian se­cu­rity guard, Has­san, 27, said. He added: “A man­ager came to the com­pound and asked us to come back to work. Most of the se­cu­rity guards re­fused and asked for the rest of the pay­ments. “A few ac­cepted to go back to work and they were of­fered a deal. The deal was that all se­cu­rity guards will re­ceive Jan­uary’s salaries this Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary’s salary next Sun­day, and so on.” Se­cu­rity guards at the com­pany earn be­tween Dhs1,750 and Dhs2,000 per month and many said they sup­port fam­i­lies at home in In­dia, Pak­istan, Bangladesh and Egypt. Work­ers also striked at what they say are un­ac­cept­able liv­ing con­di­tions.

The firm’s op­er­a­tional man­ager yes­ter­day said a month’s salary would be paid each week un­til the staff got what was owed to them.

Last week, he said the firm usu­ally pay on time but “we have prob­lems with some clients who failed to pay us, and this is the rea­son be­hind de­layed pay­ments.

“The com­pany is ad­dress­ing this is­sue.”

ANGER: Work­ers ne­go­ti­ate with po­lice and labour of­fi­cials last Wed­nes­day

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