x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dozens of Vietnamese protesters to be deported from UAE

Construction workers detained after they staged a protest over unpaid wages will be sent back to Vietnam this weekend.

DUBAI // Dozens of Vietnamese construction workers detained after they staged a protest over unpaid wages will be deported this weekend. About 95 workers were taken into custody after the demonstration in front of the Ministry of Labour office on Tuesday. Dubai Police confirmed yesterday that the Vietnamese were held after they threatened to use violence against colleagues and attempted to raid the ministry building.

Le Thinh Ha, the labour attaché at the Vietnamese Embassy in Abu Dhabi, said he had been speaking to the detained workers by telephone, and many of them complained that they had been paid only half their back pay or less. Mr Ha said the men, employees of the South Korean construction company Sungwon Corp, should receive the wages owed to them if they are deported. Eisa al Zarouni, the head of the labour ministry's inspection department, said on Tuesday that each worker was owed between Dh4,000 (US$1,089) and Dh5,000.

The ministry said it had referred Sungwon to court after a complaint lodged by workers, resulting in an order to liquidate the company's Dh2.2 million bank warranty. @Email:pmenon@thenational.ae wissa@thenational.ae