Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Firms 'depriving workers of food'

More than 100 companies are facing action for depriving workers of food and housing up to 10 men in a room.

SHARJAH // More than 100 companies are facing action for breaking labour laws, the municipality said yesterday, including for housing up to 10 men in a room and depriving their workers of food. The municipality said it found 124 companies housing workers in overcrowded and dilapidated rooms. Mohammed al Kaabi, the head of the security and operations section, said the firms "had to be dealt with as the law requires".

"It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour to take action against these companies," he said. "We have given them a full list of violating companies from our recent inspections." In typical cases 10 workers were living in rooms meant for four people, forcing some to sleep on floors, he said. Earlier this week a municipality inspection team found up to 80 workers sharing one house in which the bathroom and kitchen were being used as makeshift bedrooms.

Federal government inspectors also reported finding unpaid and underpaid workers, overcrowded housing and other violations of labour laws at more than 1,800 worksites and labour camps across the country. Abdelrazaq Qambar, the Ministry of Labour's chief inspector, said some firms, to cut costs, had added as much as 40 per cent to the population of their camps and cut meals to workers from three a day to one.

A senior ministry official said that it had received a list of violating companies from Sharjah Municipality and pledged to take action. Mr al Kaabi said some companies were intentionally seeking cheaper and dilapidated houses for their workers to maximise profits, even though Sharjah had an adequate supply of accommodation. "We send a warning letter first, then cut off electricity and water and subsequently close the buildings in case of continued violations of the standards," he said.

"We want all companies to know that providing adequate and healthy accommodation for their workers is not only benefiting authorities but them also. A healthy worker is more productive than an unhealthy one." ykakande@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

On our sixth birthday, today’s news told visually

Today in print, we are doing something different: we use only photos, graphics, illustrations and headlines to capture the news in a one-off collector’s edition.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

 INVERNESS, SCOTLAND - APRIL 16:  A general view of Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit on April 16, 2014 in Scotland. A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place on September 18, 2014.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Map of seperatist movements around the world

The conflict in Ukraine is a classic example of competing aspirations and identities – here’s a look at seperatist movements around the world.

 Hassan Abdullah, who goes by the name Abu Mahmoud, an Emirati fisherman, poses for a portrait at the Al Rughayalat Port. Abu Mahmoud was born and raised in Fujairah city and has been working as a fisherman since 1968. “I’m a shark man”, he says, “I was born in the sea.” Silvia Razgova / The National

In pictures: Fishing communities in the Northern Emirates

Fishermen in Fujairah and Umm Al Qaiwain worry that new regulations to protect fish stocks are harming their trade. We look at both communities through the lens of our photographers.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

 Omar Al Miskini was honoured as Outstanding Male Driver with Special Needs at last month’s Gulf Traffic Week.

In pictures: Special needs driver an exemplary example in the UAE

Photos of Omar Al Miskini, 40, who was named exemplary male driver with special needs by Abu Dhabi Police during the Gulf Traffic Week


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National