The Permanent Committee for Labor Affairs (PCLA) in Dubai has reiterated its commitment to collaborate with private and social organizations to consolidate the UAE’s and Dubai’s drive to implement progressive labor policies that integrate global best practices.
Major General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) and Chairman of the PCLA, said the Committee pursues workplace campaigns and community initiatives throughout the year to improve workers’ standard of living and working, aligned with Dubai’s strategy to set new standards in labor welfare.
“We have carried out several successful initiatives throughout the years, aimed at raising the welfare and happiness of workers in Dubai,” Bin Suroor said.
The PCLA Chairman highlighted the workers’ awareness and training program, a project that the Committee introduced in 2016 in collaboration with the Middle East Center for Training and Development.
The program, aimed at ensuring workers know their rights and duties, has trained over 70,000 workers so far.
It covers an extensive range of topics including UAE Culture, Labor and Immigration laws and regulations, health and safety and government help channels.
The preliminary results of recent surveys conducted by the PCLA demonstrate a significant increase in the workers’ knowledge across all topics covered.
Awareness among workers about residency and labor laws in the UAE increased from 19.75 percent before the training to 88.63 percent on completion.
Knowledge of the various types of UAE government support channels rose from 10.66 percent to 88.3 percent, while the percentage of correct answers on health and road safety issues increased from 19.6 percent to 91.9 percent.
Workers’ understanding of the UAE’s culture and acceptable and unacceptable behaviors increased from 23.25 percent to 88.46 percent.
Abdulla Lashkari Mohammad, Secretary-General of the PCLA, said that during the COVID-19 crisis, the Committee supported workers in overcoming the impact of the pandemic by adapting the program.
The campaign content was translated into multiple languages to cater to Dubai’s multi-lingual workforce.
Following the containment of the virus, the program continues to raise health and safety as well as labor rights awareness.
It is offered in four languages: English, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi.
Dr. Ahmed Al Hashemi, Consultant to the PCLA and Managing Director of the Middle East Center for Training and Development, said, “The training program is based on scientific and academic criteria and is implemented according to international standards of human and labor rights protections.”
He said, “It aims to maintain the stability of the contractual relationship between employers and workers and prevent labor rights abuses.”
The PCLA has so far focused on blue-collar workers within the construction sector and targeted managers of companies and supervisors of labor accommodations.
The Committee is also focused on training workers in the delivery sector and plans to target larger categories of workers over the next few years.
Bin Suroor said about another initiative launched by the Committee at the beginning of this year, which includes distributing free meals to workers every Friday.
The campaign was launched in cooperation with its strategic partner Beit Al Khair Society, a charity foundation, and Dubai Charity Association, a charity and humanitarian aid agency.
The number of free meals distributed by the PCLA in cooperation with its partners on Fridays has surpassed 65,000.
More such initiatives are set to be launched in cooperation with the private sector.
Lashkari said that the Committee had prepared an integrated plan to distribute free meals in all labor areas in cooperation with the private sector.
He said the PCLA prioritizes the interests of workers and strives to implement labor best practices that protect workers’ rights.