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Oman Manpower Ministry ends workers’ strike

Officials persuade 9,200 labourers to resume work

Image Credit: Courtesy: Manpower Minsitry
Salem Bin SaeedAl Badi
Gulf News

Muscat: Oman’s Manpower Ministry has helped end four-day-strike by 9,200 construction workers in Muscat, according to an Omani labour official.

A statement released by the ministry stated that 9,200 expatriate workers employed by one of the leading construction companies in Oman, Al Turki Enterprise, resorted to strike, demanding higher pay, better working environment as well as overtime.

The ministry statement also said that the Royal Oman Police and the other security agencies were also involved in ending the deadlock.

According to the ministry statement most of the “important demands by the workers have been met to arrive at an agreement to end the strike”.

“The agreement between the workers and management was reached within the provisions of the Omani Labour Law,” said Salem Bin Saeed Al Badi, Director General of Labour Welfare.

He added that the ministry officials successfully persuaded workers to end strike and resume work after marathon negotiations.

According to sources, some of the workers had stayed away from strike, especially those working on the company’s project with the Petroleum Development Oman. “Some of the workers were even kept overnight at the project site so that they could continue work the next day,” the source told Gulf News.

It is learnt that some striking workers were trying to force other workers from rejoining work.

Talking about the successful negotiations to end the strike, Al Badi said: “We could satisfy workers by meeting some of their demands, including hike in basic salary.”

The company was also told to follow all Omani Labour law regulations in calculating leave, including sick leave, annual vacations and overtime for the workers.

The workers had also complained about working environment and the ministry officials asked the company to ensure that the working environment met standards set by the authorities.

“Our department ensures that the labour welfare is looked after and at the same protect the interests of the employers,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Manpower Ministry officials, with the help of the Royal Oman Police and security agencies, arrested 255 illegal residents in the first week of this month.

Last week the ministry deported 293 illegal residents back to their home country.