How good is the Coca-Cola drive?

Readers are divided in their opinion about Coca-Cola's initiative on labour camps. Other topics: Syria, Dubai, labourers, accident
The initiative by Coca-Cola to enable blue-collar workers to make calls with bottle tops has fuelled different reactions. Some have praised the effort, while others have called it a marketing gimmick. Courtesy Coca-Cola
The initiative by Coca-Cola to enable blue-collar workers to make calls with bottle tops has fuelled different reactions. Some have praised the effort, while others have called it a marketing gimmick. Courtesy Coca-Cola

This is truly a bizarre corporate social responsibility initiative (Coca-Cola’s bottle-top operated phone video divides opinion in the UAE, May 12). How about the company offering a free Wi-Fi or VoIP facility to these labour camps? I can’t help but feel that Coca-Cola is using the plight of labourers to sell a few more drinks and get a bit of attention.

Badraeniesa Panker, Abu Dhabi

Picture painted on Syria conflicts with reports

In Hassan Hassan’s article Despite the narrative, Syria’s rebels may be gaining ground (May 7), a picture of battlefield success, rebel coordination and international diplomatic recognition is painted amid the myriad of rubble and human despair.

Although rather informative, this generally conflicts with publicised accounts this week from the region in three areas. First, the withdrawal of rebels from Homs, whether strategic or fearing the end was near, represents a significant strategic military and political victory for the regime.

Second, ISIL continues to be a force to be reckoned with in Deir Ezzor province by forcing a combative Al Nursa to withdraw from the symbolic Conoco natural gas facility, and further infighting that prompted 100,000 civilians to flee the vicinity. Lastly, foreign mission recognition is a far cry from intervention or foreign military assistance. The rebels are still lacking what they need most – the ability to even the playing field with surface to air munitions, armoured vehicles and other heavy armaments.

Alex Schultes, Saudi Arabia

Don’t forget those who build the UAE

The major developers and contractors of the UAE have recently announced impressive profits. Now is the time to reinvest some of that money into safe, modern air-conditioned transport for all of their workers. A well-rested workforce will lead to improved health and safety on site, better quality of work, and greater productivity.

Workers and shareholders will be happy. On the path to Expo 2020, the UAE cannot risk the international embarrassment that Qatar has suffered with reports of substandard conditions for its World Cup labour force. So under the direction of the Ministry of Labour, let’s set a target of April 2015 for air-conditioning in all worker buses. We owe this to the men that have built this country.

Shaun Lenehan, Dubai

Dubai accident an eye-opener

The recent accident in Dubai was a great tragedy. The driver survived and I would not be surprised if he was the only one wearing a seat belt.

Seat belts do save lives, but there appears to be a perception that if you are in a bus you are safe. It would be interesting to know if the bus was equipped with seat belts and if the passengers were told to use them.

Jeremy P Weeks, Abu Dhabi

Not a day goes by that I don’t see an avoidable accident on Dubai’s roads. Tailgating. Speeding. Swerving. Talking on the phone or texting. Changing lanes without using indicators or not checking blind spots and looking over the shoulder. Erratic or slow driving in all lanes. Not keeping outside lanes for slower traffic and inside lanes for faster traffic, resulting in a lot of unnecessary lane changes.

My car is low to the road. Drivers of higher vehicles often don’t see me, because they haven’t been taught to look. In addition to recommendations in the article Target UAE’s bus drivers for lower road toll (May 11), I would also suggest requiring drivers of passenger and commercial vehicles to be tested every two years, and issuing fines against the companies that employ them when they are found to be negligent or driving dangerously. Their employers are their greatest motivators, and they will act when they feel it on their bottom line, not before.

Elan Faabri, Dubai

Focus on Spring and Meadows

It is very pleasing to read that Dubai will become a giant, open-air gallery, with striking installations, sculptures and street art Dubai to become giant art gallery (May 13).

It has been six years since the RTA has built a main road through the Springs/Meadows. Emaar was to finish the garden work on either side of the road, but the RTA insisted that they would complete the work. Why do we still have sand beds opposite the Town Centre instead of flower beds?

It is time to clear up this site and give residents and visitors something attractive to drive through like the rest of the communities of Springs/Meadows.

Eliza VS, Dubai

Published: May 13, 2014 04:00 AM


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