[Marxism] Re: Dubai

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Sun Mar 26 00:54:09 MST 2006

Jon Flanders wrote:
> You have to see these pictures to believe it.
> http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=101057

In Dubai, an Outcry From Asians for Workplace Rights

Published: March 26, 2006

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 25 — For Rajee Kumaran, this was the
city of dreams.

Dubai's gleaming high rises, idyllic beaches and seemingly limitless
opportunities glittered on the pages of brochures and in the stories
told by laborers returning home to his native Kerala, India. But after
five years here, surviving in squalid conditions and barely making ends
meet on less than $200 a month, Mr. Kumaran, 28, says his dream has long
since faded.

"I thought this was the land of opportunity, but I was fooled," he said
Thursday, as he stood with several other construction workers outside
their work camp in the desert on the outskirts of the city.

When hundreds of workers angered by low salaries and mistreatment rioted
Tuesday night at the site of what is to become the world's tallest
skyscraper, not only were they expressing the growing frustration of
Asian migrants here, they offered a glimpse of an increasingly organized
labor force.

Far from the high-rise towers and luxury hotels emblematic of Dubai, the
workers turning this swath of desert into a modern metropolis live in a
Dickensian world of cramped labor camps, low pay and increasing desperation.

For years, workers like Mr. Kumaran have done whatever they could to get
here, often paying thousands of dollars to unscrupulous recruiters for
the chance to work at one of the hundreds of construction sites in the

Of the 1.5 million residents of Dubai, as many as a million are
immigrants who have come here to work in some capacity, with the largest
subgroup being construction workers, said Hadi Ghaemi, a researcher with
Human Rights Watch who covers the United Arab Emirates, citing
government statistics. A vast majority of the immigrants come from the
Indian subcontinent and the Philippines.


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