Dubai's Arabtec says projects unaffected by labor strike

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Arabtec, Dubai’s largest construction firm, said on Tuesday that its projects delivery schedule would not be affected by a labor stike over pay.

Thousands of workers launched a strike on Saturday in a rare labor protest in the Gulf Arab country, which relies on migrant laborers hired on a contract basis from South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal across a number of areas, including construction and domestic services.

“Arabtec has been working closely with the UAE Ministry of Labor, the Dubai Police and the concerned security authorities to resolve as soon as possible a partial workers stoppage by a limited number of Arabtec labor employees,” the company said in a bourse filing on Tuesday.

“Arabtec reiterates that project delivery timelines have and will not be affected.”

The workers decided to return to their duties after they were told that their demands would not be met, according to a report in The National.

Dubai Police were called to a labor camp in Jebal Ali, and said that some of the men decided to quit their jobs, the newspaper reported.

The rest were taken by bus to their building sites.

Arabtec was part of a consortium that won a $653 million contract in January to build a branch of France's Louvre museum on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island. It was not clear whether this project was affected by the protest.