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United Arab Emirates: food delivery workers step up strike action to secure better pay

Through . Published on 16 May 2022 à 12h41 - Update on 16 May 2022 à 12h41

Food delivery workers in the United Arab Emirates have gone on strike for the second time since the start of the month. On Tuesday 10 May, delivery workers on motorised vehicles working for Talabat, the Middle East subsidiary of German group Delivery Hero, refused to deliver meals in the vast megalopolis of Dubai. They are demanding a $0.54 increase in pay per trip on the current rate of $2.05, pointing to the fact that fuel prices in the country have risen by 30% since the start of the year. According to workers quoted by Reuters, the strike could continue until the pay rise is granted, but Talabat’s management is currently refusing to budge. The gathering of delivery workers in front of restaurants in the city is a very risky practice, as demonstrations are banned in the federal republic, making strike action very rare. The latest strike was, however, encouraged by the success of Deliveroo delivery workers, who managed to pressure the UK-based group not to go ahead with plans to cut pay per trip by 15%, even though they do not benefit from the wage system and associated rights, while working almost 12 hours a day. The International Trade Union Confederation launched a petition on 12 May to bring an end to “modern-day slavery” in the UAE, where migrants make up 90% of the total workforce. The organisation described the country as a “safe haven for companies who attack workers’ rights”.

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