January 16, 2017 | By
Reporter Ben Anderson interviewed workers employed by The Trump Organization in Dubai and learned that in addition to living in cramped, unsanitary conditions, they’re paid meager wages.
When President-elect Donald Trump was campaigning for the opportunity to lead the United States, he advocated several times for both the deportation of illegal immigrants and policies that would encourage companies to relocate back to the U.S. This acknowledged, it is somewhat curious that golf courses bearing Trump’s name that are being built in Dubai, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been found to not only hire migrant workers but to pay them meager wages.
According to a VICE segment which aired on HBO last year, migrant workers employed by the Trump Organization to build a new golf course in Dubai, India, were being paid half of what they were owed. Reporter Ben Anderson followed a group of buses transporting workers back to their camp after constructing the course. Located two hours outside of Dubai in an area that lacked an access road, the camp was both crowded and unsanitary.
In his interviews, Anderson learned that workers are typically brought in from Pakistan and offered $3 hour for their efforts; most work eight-hour shifts with two hours of overtime. It was discovered, however, that the Trump golf course subcontractor only paid the workers $1.50 an hour ($231 a month). Additionally, the peoples’ passports were confiscated, preventing them from leaving. Finally, the workers were being housed in crowded and unsanitary dormitories with bathrooms that “didn’t look fit for human beings.”
“The conditions of the guys building the Trump International Golf Course were the worst I’ve ever seen,” said correspondent Ben Anderson. “Having guys live 21 to a room with rats running around above them; having to work extremely hard in extreme heat for two years just to break even, just to pay off the debts they accrued getting there.”
Reportedly, the Trump Organization declined an interview. However, a statement was issued by a spokesperson who stated that the Trump Organization has “zero tolerance” for abusive labor practices at any work site bearing its name.
“Trump has licensed its name and brand… Trump does not oversee construction and does not employ or supervise any of the companies or individuals who have been retained to work on the building of the project,” the statement read.
It’s worth noting that it’s not uncommon for companies in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to hire foreign workers. However, the practice cannot be ignored, particularly because the United States’ next President is making money off of cheap labor and is supposed to set an example for the rest of the world to follow.
“Trump is just the latest in a long line of Westerners who have gone there, taken — I assume — large amounts of money and turned a blind eye to something which is very obvious and very well-documented,” said Anderson.