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Sacked Omani pilots present cases to shura panel

Accuse national carrier of violating Omani labour law

Gulf News

Muscat: Representatives of a group of Omani pilots and ground staff who were dismissed by national carrier Oman Air, were invited by the elected Shura Council to present their case before a fact-finding committee on Tuesday. They were joined by several Omanis who claimed the state-owned airline unfairly turned down their applications for jobs as airline pilots.

In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), the head of the panel, Ali Bin Abdullah Al Badi, said the Shura Council had constituted a special cell to hear at first hand the grievances of the sacked airline employees, as well as those whose job requests were spurned by the carrier. The aggrieved individuals were questioned about their experience and professional qualifications, and the reasons cited by the airline for terminating their services.

Many of those present complained that their dismissal by Oman Air was arbitrary and in contravention of Omani Labour Law, given especially their length of professional experience in the company. They also presented an account of the legal steps they had initiated to seek an invalidation of their dismissal.

For their part, those Omanis whose applications were rejected by the airline accused the carrier of overlooking their training and skill-sets. Furthermore, they complained that they were asked to undergo some tests were either impossible to clear or were simply not suitable for evaluating their fitness and capabilities.

It is expected that the fact-finding panel will invite representatives of the airline to hear their arguments before submitting its final recommendations to the Council.

Significantly, it is not the first time that the Shura Council has intervened in high profile labour related disputes. Last year, Council representatives played a key role in helping resolve industrial action in the key oil and gas industry, which paralysed the sector for several days.