DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ( Associated Press) – Food-delivery workers across Dubai have left jobs across the city to protest low wages and inadequate security, the company confirmed on Tuesday, marking the second strike in an emirate in as many weeks. marked, indicating disagreement. ,
Foreign workers contracted by Delivery Hero’s Middle East arm Talabat began their walkout late Monday after an event on social media that snapped the application’s services.
As fuel prices rose, many said they were pushing for a modest wage increase from their current rate of $2.04 per delivery – less than another extremely rare strike among contractors for the delivery service Deliveroo. Salary Last week.
Deliveroo drivers make $2.79 per delivery after the UK-based company was forced to backtrack from its plan to cut workers’ wages and extend their hours. Strikes and unions are illegal in the United Arab Emirates, where the subject of labor standards has become controversial in recent years.
In the video shared on social media, it can be seen that in the early morning hundreds of people riding in the pond gather near their parked motorcycles. It was not clear how many riders took part in the strike, with Talabat admitting to some “delay in operations” on Tuesday.
Talabat, owned by Germany-based Delivery Hero, confirmed the stoppage in a statement to the Associated Press, saying the company is “committed to ensuring that riders can continue to rely on our platform to provide for their families “
“Rider pay satisfaction was above 70% as of last week,” the company said, without explaining how it arrived at that number. “Nevertheless, we understand that economic and political realities are constantly changing, and we will always continue to listen to what riders have to say.”
Many striking Talabat riders say they expect an increase of up to about $2.72 per delivery, especially when they are seeing the rising gas prices that they pay out of pocket. Many people drive about 300–400 kilometers (190–250 mi) a day.
Riders also described a mountain of other costs to contractors seeking jobs in Dubai, including routine motorcycle maintenance costs such as visa fees, toll fees, oil changes and hospital expenses. Drivers say contractors do not provide drivers with adequate accident insurance, even as accidents occur frequently on Dubai’s dangerous roads,
This leaves delivery workers, part of Dubai’s vast overseas workforce, mainly from Africa and Asian countries such as India and Pakistan, with little cash to pay rent and send back home to the families they support. .
As it attempts to burnish its image as a cosmopolitan haven for migrant workers, the UAE has long faced constant criticism from human rights groups, over the difficult conditions and relatively low wages paid by the country’s manual laborers. have to face. Officials say the country has introduced labor reforms and offered many workers better money than they could find back home amid poverty and sometimes conflict.
Khan, 24, a pond driver and breadwinner for his nine-year-old family in Peshawar, Pakistan, said he barely makes a living in Dubai – even though he hasn’t taken a day off in three months and works 15 hours a day. Do you do day. He said that he has been hit by cars twice and injured his leg while at work, but could never afford the treatment.
“I am not doing strikes for myself or for my friends. I know it is not good for us,” he said, adding that he should be identified only by his family name for fear of retaliation. is for the future. For people like us, coming here to Dubai.”