Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Two prominent business leaders in Dubai have joined hands to launch a global initiative that seeks to end the use of “blue-collar” as a way of referencing those working in the manual labour sector across industries.
Dr Harmeek Singh, founder and Chairman of Plan b group, one of the largest event management companies in the region; and Alok Gadkar, MD and Executive Creative Director, Partnership Advertising, recently launched BeyondBlue, a project that seeks to start a global conversation on eliminating the term “blue collar” workers and simply using “industrial workers” or “skilled workers” when referring to those who are working in this sector.
The project was launched during the recently concluded Vie Fashion Week, where real-life workers walked the ramp wearing blue overalls, but with modified collars to visually represent the change that Dr. Singh and Gadkar are calling for.
“We have been working with the industrial workers sector for many years now through our Box of Hope project, providing various forms of assistance to this underserved sector of our community. Working with Alok and his team at Partnership, we thought of raising the conversation to a global level and call for a more dignified way of identifying our industrial workers,” said Singh.
Gadkar hopes the initiative will get people onboard to veer away from a discriminatory term associated with colour. “Doing an honest day’s work, as many of our industrial workers do on a regular basis, cannot be defined by the colour of their collars. In fact, as many of them are part in building and making many businesses work, eliminating this colour-based identity gives their profession a semblance of pride,” he added.
The limited-edition overalls will be sold, proceeds of which will be used by the BeyondBlue team to promote the global call to stop the practice of using “blue-collar workers” and contribute to the welfare of industrial workers.
Singh and Gadkar chose the UAE as the launchpad for the cause, with the Emirates being home to some 2.2 million skilled or industrial workers but are planning to take the conversation globally. In addition, they will be raising funds to initiate related projects for the benefit of the workers from the sales of the limited-edition blue overalls introduced during the fashion event.