UAE construction giant faces rare labor strike

May 20, 2013 - 8:35 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — United Arab Emirates-based construction company Arabtec says it's working to resolve a rare strike by laborers seeking higher wages.

Labor protests are uncommon across the Gulf Arab states, which depend on workers mostly from South Asia for vital construction jobs. Entire teams of workers are often housed in crowded labor camps with basic services.

UAE authorities have made arrests of strikers in the past but there also are concerns of wider protests.

Arabtec says an undisclosed number of workers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi stayed in camps for a second day Monday.

UAE construction workers earn on average $218 a month, according to the Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper.

Arabtec leads high-profile projects such as the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, which it says was not affected by the strike.