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21 March, 2004

Grim blue line

Today, a column of blue-clad migrant workers marched for over ten miles along Sheikh Zayed road, to go to the Ministry of Labour in what is almost certainly another desperate attempt to claim unpaid salaries.

These men sacrifice their entire lives to come and work here. They see their families and children only once every two years, they toil in the dust and dirt and heat and endless sun building this entire country. And yet their corrupt, inefficient and greedy employers continually fail to pay, continually lie to the Ministry of Labour, which itself continues to take the word of one fat cat construction boss against thousands of honest labourers, granting extension after extension for the company to pay them, which it never does.

This is a country that literally runs with oil and drips with gold. The treatment of these migrant workers is an abomination. People who work without pay are slaves.

When you look at the glittering buildings of Dubai, remember the Pyramids of Egypt and the slavery that created them. Thousands of years pass, nothing changes.

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