Sunday, August 5, 2007

The NYT has an interesting story on foreign worker rights and conditions in the United Arab Emirates. Foreigners comprise, according to this story, 85% of the population of the UAE and 99% of its private work force. This number of foreign "guest workers" has led to some tension:
Change here is constrained by rival concerns of the sort that shape the prospects of workers worldwide. Like many countries, only more so, the United Arab Emirates needs the foreign laborers but fears their numbers. The recent focus on the workers’ conditions still leaves them under close watch, segregated from the general population, with no right to unionize and no chance at citizenship.
This story has more details on the conditions these workers labor in and on how some consider trying to change these conditions.