Dubai contractor Arabtec says workers end strike


Dubai contractor Arabtec said on Wednesday a four-day strike by foreign workers seeking higher pay was over and the emirate's police chief said 200 of them would be repatriated.

The company, in which Abu Dhabi state-owned fund Aabar owns a near 22-percent stake, did not say whether workers' demands for a wage hike of about $50 per month had been met.

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Thousands of workers stayed away from work from Saturday in a rare labor protest in Dubai where trade unions are banned.

"This unwarranted stoppage had been instigated by a minority group who will be held accountable for their actions," Arabtec said in a statement on Dubai's bourse earlier on Wednesday.

Police chief Dahi Khalfan said about 200 workers who took part in the protests had been taken into custody in preparation for being sent home at their own request.

Arabtec was among the contractors that built Dubai's palm-shaped island projects and the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa.

Police were called into Arabtec worker accommodation on Monday after laborers refused to report for work.

Khalfan said 200 workers had said they no longer wanted to work for Arabtec and asked to be repatriated.

"The police doesn't interfere with company matters but the workers don't want to work and they asked to leave," Khalfan told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon and Mirna Sleiman; Editing by David Cowell)