Dubai delivery workers strike again this month

Dubai delivery workers strike again this month
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DUBAI (United Arab Emirates) – Dubai’s food delivery workers have taken strike action against their low pay and insufficient protections. This is the second strike in two weeks in an emirate that bans dissent.

After organizing via social media, the foreign workers hired by Talabat (the Middle East unit for Delivery Hero) began their walkout on Monday. This was in response to the application is disabled.

Many workers are requesting a modest increase in their pay from the current rate of $2.04 per delivery, as fuel prices rise. This wage is less than what caused a rare strike by contractors last week for Deliveroo.

After the strike forced Deliveroo to halt its plans to reduce workers’ hours and pay them less, the U.K.-based firm made $2.79 per delivery. In the United Arab Emirates, strikes and unions are still illegal. The issue of labor standards has become contentious.

Social media videos showed hundreds of Talabat riders gathered in front of their parked bikes at dawn, as shared by social media. Talabat acknowledged some “operational delays” Tuesday morning. It wasn’t clear how many of the riders participated in the strike.

Talabat, the Germany-based Delivery Hero, confirmed that the work stoppage was happening in a statement to The Associated Press. The company said it was “committed” to ensuring riders could continue to rely upon our platform to provide for themselves and their families.

The company said that rider satisfaction was high at 70% up to last week but did not disclose how it got there. “We understand that economic and political realities change constantly and will continue to listen to riders’ opinions.”

Many striking Talabat riders claim they wanted to get a raise to $2.72 per delivery. This is especially important considering the high gas prices they have to pay. Many commutes 300-400 km (190-250 miles) per day.

Riders described other expenses that drain their income, such as visa fees for contractors in Dubai, toll costs, regular motorcycle maintenance costs, like oil changes, hospital expenses, and toll charges. Drivers claim that contractors do not offer adequate accident insurance for drivers, even though many crashes on Dubai’s hazardous roads.

Delivery workers are a part of Dubai’s large foreign workforce, mostly from Africa and Asia, such as India, Pakistan, and China. They have little money to pay rent or send their families home.

The UAE is trying to be a cosmopolitan haven and has been repeatedly criticized by human rights groups for the hard work, low wages, and difficult conditions that its manual laborers endured. The UAE has implemented labor reforms that offer workers more money than they would receive in poverty or conflict back home.

Khan, a 24-year-old Talabat driver, is the breadwinner of his family of nine from Peshawar, Pakistan. He works 15 hours per day and has not taken a day off for three months. He said he was twice struck by cars and that he had injured his foot while on the job but couldn’t afford treatment.

“I’m not striking to protect me or my friends.” He said that he knew it was not good for them and asked for anonymity by naming his family to avoid reprisals. It’s for the better. Coming to Dubai is for guys like us.

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