Muscat: Demanding better wages and reinstatement of their union chief, the Octal Petrochemicals Company workers continued their strike for the tenth consecutive day on Thursday.
The employees at Octal Company told Gulf News that the silence of management is “baffling”, but they won’t buckle and would continue their strike until their demands are met.
The company has not allowed the union chiefs and the representative of the General Federation of Oman Trade Unions (GFOTU) to enter the premises and resolve the issue.
A meeting of all the workers’ unions of Dhofar governorate was held to discuss the strike and their demands.
Octal is based in the capital Muscat but has operation in Dhofar in the south of the country.
All the unions have decided to support the Octal workers and to share their salaries with the striking workers if the company does not meet their demands.
Meanwhile, Nabhan Al Batashi, chairman of the General Federation of Oman Trade Unions (GFOTU), said that the Ministry of Manpower and the labour union have met several times with the representatives of the Octal Company to settle the workers’ demands but the company has been stalling the agreement approved by all the parties.
Referring to Union chief Al Masahali’s dismissal, Al Batashi said that it came after he requested for unpaid emergency leave to accompany his brother for treatment outside Oman.
Al Masahali was surprised with the dismissal as he had documents to support that he had accompanied his brother outside the country throughout the period he was absent from work.
Al Batashi said the company has proposed to reinstate him but in another section of the company, it has been refused by the GFOTU.
Workers at the Octal Petrochemicals Company told Gulf News that they would continue their strike even for one year until their demands are met.
Meanwhile, a strike by the workers at the Maward Mining Company was resolved after a joint agreement between the representatives from the company and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), as well as the General Federation of Oman Trade Unions (GFOTU).
Octal refused to respond to Gulf News’ requests for a comment.
The workers are demanding better wages and other facilities.
The government has recently banned strikes in essential services, including oil companies, refineries, ports and airports.