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Protests at Rusayl Industrial Estate end

Protests end after the intervention of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman

Muscat: The two-day-long deadlock at the Rusayl Industrial Estate ended late Thursday evening after Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) Chairman Khaleel Bin Abdullah Al Khonji intervened.

“We had marathon six-hour negotiations with protesting workers and factory owners,” Al Khonji told Gulf News after OCCI officials and factory owners worked out a solution with the workers.

On Wednesday morning, the Omani employees of the Rusayl Industrial Estate had gone on protest and blocked entry and exit to the 27-year-old Oman’s first industrial estate.

Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Abdullah Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, had tried to work out a solution with the protesting workers on Wednesday but the deadlock had continued.

Thursday morning the workers had even forced factories to shut all operations.

Al Khonji revealed that it has been agreed to give Omani workers, who earn less than 500 Omani riyals, an allowance of 50 Omani riyals and the industrial estate will observe five-day week for Omani staff.

“These decisions will be implemented within six months and workers have agreed to that,” he said.

The Omani workers will also get medical insurance. He added that there were other demands like training, retirement packages and promotions and they will be looked into.

“We are very delighted that the deadlock is over and work will resume at the estate,” a medium scale factory owner told Gulf News but preferred not to be quoted.

The Rusayl Industrial Estate was the first industrial property started in Oman in 1983 and had over 150 manufacturing unit from small to large scale.