Source AP ©

About 100 workers on strike detained by police in Dubai

Foreign workers walked out of a labor camp and tried to block a road, demanding better wages, about 100 were detained by Dubai police.

Workers from Ubaidulla Contracting Co. marched out of a labor camp in Dubai's Al Quoz industrial area, demanding better living conditions and better wages, witnesses said.

But riot police blocked the workers at the entrance of the labor camp and put them on buses, witnesses said.

"Workers were put on two buses," said Dubai resident Mohammed Rahim, who witnessed the incident. Rahim said the buses drove off with police cars escorting them.

Witnesses said they later saw the two buses, carrying at least a hundred workers, stop in front of Dubai's central jail. It was not immediately clear if the workers were arrested and if they were still being held at the jail.

Calls to Dubai police went unanswered Wednesday evening.

Last month, about 4,000 striking workers from Pauling Middle East Company LLC were detained. Most of them were released a week ago, but about 160 remain in jail, accused of damaging police cars with stones.

In recent weeks, several labor strikes have occurred in this Gulf city-state that heavily depends on cheap labor from Asia for its capitalist boom. Most of the workers say their salaries are too low and they are often not paid on time.

About 40,000 workers of Arabtec, one of Dubai's construction giants, were in their eighth day of striking Wednesday, demanding their wages, which currently range from US$109 (Ђ74)to US$163 (Ђ111) a month, are raised by US$55 (Ђ37)a month.

The Emirates' cabinet has ordered labor officials and construction companies to review salaries and possibly set a minimum wage in an effort to avert turmoil on the labor market.

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