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National staff of Oman Air on strike in Muscat

Airport employees union accuses airline of reneging on promises

Gulf News

Muscat: The national workforce of Oman Air, the country’s official airline, went on a flash strike on Tuesday night at the Muscat International Airport, forcing the management to shore up operations with available expatriate employees.

“The Omani workers went on flash strike because the company is not acting on promises made last November, and the demands of workers are not met yet,” Saleh Bin Mohammad Abdullah Al Zedjali, the leader of the airport employees union, was quoted by Al Aamil magazine.

Al Zedjali said the employees had been demanding training and promotions for Omani staff for some time but, despite promises, the company had not implemented any of the demands. He also alleged that employees were being made to work more than eight hours by the airline without being paid over-time wages.

“Even women staff are made to work long hours and late at night,” he said. He alleged that the company was deducting pay even when employees submitted legitimate medical bills and that it had been withholding increments. “Our strike was legal as we had served notices to the Manpower Ministry as well as Oman’s Workers’ Union,” he pointed out.

Al Zedjali threatened that the airline staff would proceed on an indefinite strike if their demands were not met. It was unclear how many staff members joined the flash strike on Tuesday night.

Requests by Gulf News for a comment from Oman Air’s corporate communication division went unanswered.