UAE labourers set fire to 17 cars after ‘suicide’ of colleague

Labourers in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the eastern emirates of the UAE, have set fire to their construction site and other property after a colleague fell to his death. 

Workers at the Emirates National School building project set 17 company cars alight, along with electricity generators, fuel tanks and offices. 

The disturbance began after a labourer died after a five-storey fall at the site. His colleagues were angered by management claims that he had committed suicide. The protesters maintained that his death was really caused by a lack of safety equipment. 

Around 50 workers are said to have joined the demonstration at the site, which is in the city of Khalifa bin Zayed. Protests stopped after police officers arrived at the scene. 

Major General Ali Al Nuaimi, head of Ras Al Khaimah Police, was quoted by The National newspaper as saying: "There are lawful ways and open channels for workers to reach the governing bodies to help them with solutions. Violence and vandalism are not the way." 

Last year the UAE was ruled to be one of the "worst countries to work in" with "unfair labour practices" and "no access to rights".

UAE authorities respond that in 2013 more than 1,000 cases of labour abuses were referred to prosecutors. 

Image: Construction workers in the UAE (Wikimedia Commons)

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News