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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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UAE to become more foreign worker-friendly
Mar 26, 2007 - 7:44:32 PM
'It means the UAE will not allow any workers - to go on strike - or protest before they complete their term. A review or negotiations would be possible only after three years,' Ravi explained.

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[RxPG] New Delhi, March 26 - The United Arab Emirates, where around 1.5 million Indians earn their livelihood, is all set to become more worker-friendly by adopting a series of labour reforms to safeguard the interests of its foreign workers.

Ali Bin Abdulla Al Kaabi, UAE labour minister, met Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi here Monday to discuss various labour-related issues.

He assured that the job security standards in his country were above those set by the International Labour Organisation.

Al Kaabi, who is accompanying the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on his India visit, told Ravi that the UAE's internal affairs ministry would soon introduce a penalty for those employers who confiscated the passports of their foreign workers.

Both India and UAE have decided to appoint a six-member joint committee, which would be represented by three members from each country, to look into the problems faced by labourers and the immigration problem of workers.

'The first meeting of the committee will be held in Dubai next month,' Ravi said.

In other worker-friendly measures, the UAE will ensure that all foreign workers are provided medical insurance for which the responsibility would lie with the employer, each worker would be given a smart card containing all details about them and it was also considering legal protection for those working in households like maids.

'The UAE government will appoint labour officers to deal with the workers' complaints and there would also be a toll-free number on which workers can register their complaints,' Ravi said.

According to the Indian minister, Al Kaabi also clarified that there would not be any mid-way review of the contract for those who had agreed on a three-year term with an employer.

'It means the UAE will not allow any workers - to go on strike - or protest before they complete their term. A review or negotiations would be possible only after three years,' Ravi explained.

India and the UAE had signed a memorandum of understanding in December last year to provide for the facilitation of manpower recruitment and mutual sharing of information and experience and safeguard of the interests of the Indian workers in that country and to ensure their welfare.

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