Use authorities to get your wages, RMJM boss advises staff
RMJM engineers lodge claims with Dubai’s Ministry of Labour
A director of RMJM has urged staff in Dubai owed wages by the firm to use local labour laws to recover missing money.
Ray Crane is the managing director of RMJM’s engineering business, which is based in the same office as the firm’s better known architecture arm.
Its engineering division employs around 75 people and is currently in the process of being sold to US firm Ted Jacob Engineering which has a number of offices around the world including Dubai’s neighbour Abu Dhabi.
In an email seen by BD, and sent out to all engineering staff, Crane, who joined the firm in 2009 after spending nearly 30 years at Arup, took the unusual step of sharing his concerns at ongoing salary problems with chief executive Peter Morrison and group commercial director Declan Thompson by copying them in.
He told engineers: “I regret to, yet again, inform you that there has been no communication from senior RMJM management on the status of April’s salaries.
“As previously advised, the resident RMJM directors have done everything in their powers to obtain an update but to my knowledge have not received a reply. I can offer no explanation on the actions of RMJM on this matter.
“Employees in the UAE have protection under UAE labour law and it is there to be used in these circumstances.”
Just two days after Crane sent his email, more than 30 staff took his advice and lodged claims with the Ministry of Labour (MoL) in Dubai last Thursday. Because of the volume of claims BD understands the MoL visited RMJM’s office last Sunday and has now asked it to provide evidence that staff are being paid.
BD understands around a third of the 75 engineering staff have been paid their missing wages for April with one source putting the reason down to the influence of three clients – Emirates Aluminium, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and Aviation Club Hotel – who have asked RMJM provide proof that RMJM staff on their jobs are being paid.
In a letter sent in the midde of March to Emriates Aluminium, where RMJM is carrying out work on its smelter complex in Abu Dhabi, Morrison wrote: “I understand fully the concerns you have expressed in relation to ensuring the continuity of the RMJM team working on this project.
“I would welcome your assistance to accelerate payment of our current invoices which will greatly assist our efforts in meeting salary commitments. In return for this I am happy to confirm that RMJM staff deployed to your project will immediately be paid any outstanding salary due on receipt by us of the payment from you.”
One source said: “Only the engineers on those three jobs have been paid because they don’t want to upset these clients. The rest are still missing their wages.” It is understood staff working at its architecture business in Dubai have been paid their wages for April.
RMJM declined to comment.