A Third of Workers at N.Y.U.’s Abu Dhabi Site Lacked Labor Protections, Report Finds

About one-third of the migrant construction workers employed at New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi — or about 10,000 people — were excluded from the protections of the university’s labor guidelines ensuring fair wages, hours and living conditions, according to an investigative report issued on Thursday.

The 72-page report said that some subcontractors were exempted from the guidelines based on decisions made by local contractors running the operation. One of those contractors was Mubadala, a real estate company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

“This practice of exempting companies from compliance created a significant gap in coverage that disenfranchised thousands of workers from the protections contemplated by the labor guidelines,” said the report, by the international investigative firm Nardello & Company.

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Start date:April 16, 2015

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