Swiss multinational conglomerate Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, was honoured today with the Taqdeer Award’s Golden Card for Labour Excellence. At a ceremony held today at the company’s regional headquarters in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Blue Cards were also presented to a group of the company’s workers selected in the distinguished workers category of the Award.
Speaking on the occasion of the ceremony, His Excellency Major-General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai) and Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai (PCLA) and the Taqdeer Award, stressed the need for companies and workers to maintain a strong and healthy relationship by honouring each other’s rights and responsibilities.
He highlighted the role of the Taqdeer Award, organised with the support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, in promoting a ‘culture of excellence and leadership’ among Dubai’s companies and workers and promoting stronger bonds between them. The Award has introduced a competitive culture in implementing workforce welfare measures and enabled hundreds of companies to raise benchmarks of labour practices, he said.
In its fourth edition, the Taqdeer Award recognised 15 major international and national companies for exceptional labour welfare, job loyalty, career advancement opportunities and commitment to companies. Winners in the 4 and 5-star categories are entitled to over 35 incentives and discounts from Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and GDRFA-Dubai, among other organisations. Exclusive services and discounts provided by government entities, universities, hospitals, health clinics, money exchange houses, shopping centres and other private sector organisations help the winning companies and their workers save millions of dirhams annually. The Award has also honoured 50,000 workers with 4 and 5-Stars.
At the ceremony, Major-General Obaid praised Nestlé’s tireless efforts to apply its high standards across all worksites and become a role model for labour welfare not only in Dubai but also worldwide. Nestle has 18 production sites in the Middle East where it has been present since 1934 when it started its first import operation in Lebanon. Today, its factories in the region provide direct employment to more than 11,000 people and produce products in 60 brands in a wide range of categories including dairy products, infant nutrition, bottled water, chocolate and confectionery, coffee creamers, breakfast cereals and culinary products.
Remy Ejel, Nestlé Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East and North Africa Region, said: ‘Nestlé Dubai Manufacturing is proud to receive the distinguished 5-Star category Taqdeer Award. A big thank you goes to all our people and workforce who made this happen despite all the challenges, and to the Taqdeer Committee. I am sure this great recognition will inspire us all to work even harder and smarter.”
Lt. Col. Khaled Ismail, Secretary-General of Taqdeer Award, said: “A team will start distributing the incentive-cum-discount cards according to a schedule agreed with the government entities, establishments and private companies. The Labour Excellence Card, the first of its kind in the world, has been made possible through the support of government and private entities and the exceptional efforts of the Award team over the past year. Several universities will offer discounts to workers wishing to complete their education to gain better job opportunities or provide education to their children in Dubai. Several hospitals and health clinics will provide free consultations. Exchange companies, shopping malls and others contracted by the Award management will also provide a range of discounts.
Launched in 2016 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the Taqdeer Award is the first initiative of its kind in the world that recognises labour excellence among companies and workers. The fourth edition of the Taqdeer Award for the year 2020 received a record number of applications from over 3000 companies. A total of 175 companies were shortlisted for the Award.