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Oman petroleum company employees go on strike

Omani workers at two companies stop work until demands are met

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya
Bureau Chief
  • Published: 15:23 June 24, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: COURTSEY TWITTER
  • Petroleum company employees go on strike Oman Methanol Holding Company

Muscat: A number of Omani staff at two private petrochemical companies struck work on Monday, according to an independent group Monitor of Human Rights in Oman (MHRO).

The group has posted a picture of a group of striking Omani workers, wearing the uniform of Oman Methanol Holding Company (OMC), an Omar Zawawi Establishment (OMZEST) joint venture with Trinidad-based Methanol Holding International Limited (MHIL).

The group claimed that the Omani workers at OMC at the Sohar Industrial Port as well as Dalma Energy employees at Muscat went on strike on Monday.

OMC started production in 2007 and the plant produces more than 3,000 tonnes of premium-grade methanol per day, according to the company website.

Among various demands by the striking workers is the non-compliance by the company of the Manpower Ministry’s decision, which mandates annual salary increases for private sector workers in Oman.

The ministerial decision No 32/2012, which came into effect in January last year, decrees that every private sector employee is entitled to a three per cent salary increase every year.

The striking employees, the MHRO group said in its post, are also accusing the management of OMC of breach of agreement reached with the trade union, in the presence of Manpower Ministry officials.

The striking Omani employees have also accused OMC management of marginalising the citizen workforce.

The workers charge that despite earning profits, the company was not giving adequate increase in salaries, incentives, bonuses and rewards. Telephone calls to the OMC went unanswered.

The MHRO group also announced that Omani employees at Dalma Energy went on strike on Monday in Muscat.

“They are demanding comprehensive health coverage, including for family members, among other demands,” the group posted on their page on social media.

The Dalma Energy employees also have issues about their annual leave as well as salaries paid during the leave period. “They just get basic salary and are demanding comprehensive salary during annual leave,” the post said, adding that the employees are also demanding removal of the company’s human resource manager.

When contacted, the company’s human resource manager refused to comment. “We are busy in a meeting to resolve the issue so are not in a position to give any comment,” the company’s HR manager, Khalfan Al Riyami, told Gulf News.

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