The unpaid salaries of over 23,000 laborers in Abu Dhabi worth AED 261 million have finally been released this year, as the cases filed in the Abu Dhabi Labor Court have been finally settled this year.
The cases filed by workers were from January to June of this year. In one of the cases filed in the Labor Court, over 700 workers of a catering company received AED 26 million in unpaid salaries after the case has been resolved amicably.
Cases of 23,000 Unpaid Workers in Abu Dhabi Settled in Labor Court, AED 261 Million Worth of Salary Released
Through the cooperation of officials with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre), the year-long dispute between the workers and their employer over remuneration has finally been settled this year, reported the Khaleej Times.
Before the settlement, workers, including waiters, cooks, administrators, and drivers, had spent months without wages as the company was reeling under a financial crunch.
In June, around 733 without bank accounts received their pending wages at their homes without visiting courts through the new mechanism launched by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.
According to data shared by the Abu Dhabi Labor Court, unpaid wages amounting to AED 577 million have been disbursed to 53,000 workers from January 2019 until June 2020.
In line with this, lawmakers have announced that in recent years several measures to ensure workers receive their unpaid wages have been implemented.
Abdulla Faris Al Nuaimi, head of the Abu Dhabi Labour Court, shared: “The new judicial initiatives have been rolled out by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department over the past few years and these have helped in quick and easy settlement of labor disputes and payment of wages.”
The measures implemented include a one-day court established in Abu Dhabi in 2018 and a mobile court that visits the workers’ accommodations to resolve their disputes with employers.
Using a mobile court bus, a special delegation from the labor court and other officials from the MOHRE visit the workers’ accommodations.
According to authorities, they intervene in all cases involving all workers who complain about spending months without salaries.
And part of their responsibilities is to ensure that all of the workers’ pending salaries are paid on the spot.
They do this by liquidating the company’s bank guarantee to use the cash as payment for workers’ dues and providing tickets for those wishing to return home.
Al Nuaimi also noted that since the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of labor disputes filed in court has gone down because of the increase in amicable settlements between workers and employers by the Mohre.
He added that as part of the labor court’s steps to deliver its commitment to workers and to safeguard the labor system in the UAE, it is planning to tap charity organizations in the country to help provide financial support to workers, especially those whose salaries could not be paid by their employers.
Although support channels are still being arranged from such organizations, the Mohre has already reached out to the Zakat Fund and the Zayed Foundation, and discussions are still ongoing.
Al Nuaimi also shared that several charitable bodies have always extended humanitarian support to workers in individual cases by providing them with travel tickets to go back home or health insurance in the past.
When these plans and actions from MOHRE have gained support from target organizations, workers in the UAE will have another layer of protection against abuse and injustice in the workplace moving forward.