History and Current Status of Industrial Relation in Sez in U.A.E.

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The seven constituent emirates (Formerly known as the Trucial States, Trucial Coast, or Trucial Oman) had a truce (1820) and agreement (1892) with Britain. Finally in 1971 the independent federation was formed (Qatar and Bahrain separated) Till the 1980s there was in-fighting and rivalry with Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In 1991 during the Persian Gulf War it developed international diplomatic relations. Dubai was always an important trading center, connecting the Far East, India, and Africa even in the ancient years when spices, culture, knowledge, textiles were frequently exchanged. This was the baseline for its economy. Then, in 1960s they found oil. That boosted them to becoming the highest per capita income generator of the world. They invested in capital, infrastructure and societal improvements heavily. It brought economic expansion to the entire Arab world. Even though oil and petroleum still dominate the industry, as it will last only for 3 decades, they are setting up SEZs to diversify aggressively. Leaders in Dubai are planning to setup a successful economic powerhouse before the last one runs out – a policy which has seen them ride the world economic scene through the years in the past. (http://www.hejleh.com/countries/uae.html )

(http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/offshore/more/dubai_free_zones/ )

Industrial relations for labour in SEZ in UAE
Governance and labour laws
UAE is a federation. There are no parties and no real elections. The government works on three levels: •the federal level (country government)
emirate level for each emirate
Municipal government.
Emirates work on two levels, federal and emirate level. Much of the time these are in parallel, but in other cases, they may work differently. Either way, power is hierarchical and filters through downwards. The Supreme Council is basically the rulers of the seven emirates. Labour matters are governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Labour Relations as amended by Federal Laws No. 24 of 1981, No.15 of 1985 and No.12 of 1986 (the “Law”). Details in excel sheet. (http://www.grapeshisha.com/UAE-governmental-structure.html )

Industrial Relations in UAE
Statistics of UAE Industrial relations as per labour report for 2007 released by the Ministry of Labour: •3,113,000 foreign workers working in approximately 260,000 firms •More than 90% of private sectors are expat workers. And worker shortage is still high in this area, especially after amnesty. (created illegal labour trade market)

During 2006-07, they developed bilateral co-operation with labour exporting countries through MoU’s with several Asian countries including Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Thailand and the Philippines. As part of these agreements, workers could repatriate their savings ($16 billion in 2006) to whichever nation they chose.

UAE is a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Arab Labour Organisation and other labour-focused multilateral organizations.

Free Zones in UAE
Free zone employees are sponsored by the relevant free zones and not by their employers. Such employees are seconded by the free zones to companies established in the free zones in return for, amongst other things, a bank guarantee which is required to secure the employees’ dues and any end of service benefits which may be payable on termination of their employment contracts. However, although the free zones are technically the employee’s sponsor, the employees do maintain their right of action against their employers before the courts.

Some free zones in UAE:
1.Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ)
Offers business and tax incentives to corporations.
Run by the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority ,owned by Dubai World. •Caters to the Dubai Port which ranks 9th worldwide in container traffic. •The Jebel Ali Free Zone also provides warehousing and distribution facilities to international and local corporations. 2.Dubai Internet City (DIC)

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