Earlier this month the GDN reported:
More than 100 garment factory workers staged a demonstration yesterday, claiming they had not been paid.
Some of Garment International's Sri Lankan employees' homes were destroyed in the tsunami disaster and they say their families are desperate for cash.
The workers, mostly women, massed outside the factory in Sitra, demanding to be paid.
[Sri Lankan Embassy Consul General P B Higgoda] said the company had promised to pay them in due course, but the firm said at the time that it had already paid them. Mr Higgoda said yesterday that the company had not paid its workers for six months. (Continued)
And just yesterday, the Gulf News reported:
Street protest over pay deadlock
More than 100 unpaid workers left their housing accommodation yesterday and marched towards Abu Dhabi city before being surrounded by police. The employees of Roads and General Contracting Projects (Rapco) vowed to continue their protest even as armed officers cordoned them off on a busy roadside in Musaffah.
“We are saying we can’t go to the accommodation site and we are on strike. They can put us in jail or deport us, but we will not go back to the site,” Mohammad Yunus Khan told Gulf News.
More than 1,300 Rapco workers are owed between 6 months’ to 16 months’ worth of their salaries. (Continued)
Although I doubt these workers (who appear to be migrants from South Asia) will get the justice they deserve, I'm glad that they are taking a stand and are doing whatever little they can to make their voice heard in an environment that would like to keep them silent and invisible. For they speak not only on behalf of themselves, but also for the countless other poor migrant workers in the Gulf who get dealt the same injustice every day. I hope this a sign of growing awareness among expat workers of the inviolable rights afforded to them as human beings.
Read this for a bit of background about the tight spot that migrant workers in the Gulf find themselves in.