Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Classic UAE builders… for the boys


Here is a scene I saw today….


One man digging. One man standing next to a pick axe, one man standing holding a wheel barrow and a fourth man (white hat) supervising. So the man with the pick axe was breaking up the ground, then the other would shovel it into the wheel barrow for it to be taken away and dumped. Then I noticed there were more “wheel barrow men”! ….


….. 3 of them in fact, each on a run to the dumping area.

We all know that manual labour here is cheap, but it is used so wastefully. It’s not the labourers fault, they are just doing what they are told to do. It’s the management that is at fault. If the labour was used more efficiently then much less would be needed. In fact, if these guys had a mechanical digger this whole job could have been done in about half an hour, instead of the 14 hours they probably put it.  This same story is repeated over and over out here in many different fields – not just in construction but also the service industries. The availability of vast resources of cheap labour means that there seems to be no drive to make processes slick and efficient. They will just throw more labour at it instead.

I guess the upside is that more people from some of the poorest parts of the Asian Sub-Continent have jobs and are able to send money home to support their families.

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