Are Strikes Legal In The UAE? Here’s What The Labour Law Says About It

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Recently, in the UAE labour strikes have become common. First the strike by Deliveroo riders and now by Talabat UAE riders. Employees of both companies are protesting for an increase in pay and fewer working hours. Previously, when such a strike happened in the UAE, either they were deported or had to pay a hefty fine. Here is what the labour law says about it.

In violation of international standards, however, Article 162 of the proposed UAE labour law effectively bans strikes, stating “It shall be strictly prohibited to engage in a work stoppage, whether wholly or partially, or a firm shut down because of or during group labour disputes.” The law defines a group labour dispute as “any dispute between an employer and his workers, which is connected in issue with the common interest of all or a group of the workers in a certain firm, occupation, trade or professional sector” (Article 155). The proposed law allows employers to suspend a worker “accused of committing… an offence associated with the strike” (Article 114) and to dismiss without notice any worker who “starts a work stoppage, or instigates or participates in such acts” (Article 122).

Well one thing we all know about the UAE is that the laws in practice are in the best interest of all parties. Hence, the laws placed are very carefully implemented, after scrutinizing every aspect ensuring nothing is unfair to anyone. As for the labour, the minimum wage & fair living standards are enforced by the UAE government through regulation of businesses while protecting employers from such unethical acts, thus strikes are not a solution and there will be repercussions if not respected.