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Workers told to complain only through official channels

MUSCAT, March 10 - Workers in Oman — both national and expatriates — should submit their complaints, if any, to the Ministry of Manpower through official communication channels. “Filing of complaints through official channels including the online portal will help the ministry deal with the cases at ease to find solutions,” said a statement. Referring to the video clips and messages circulated on social media, an official at the ministry warned: “the conditions of the workers shown in the images are not acceptable and are against the labour laws in the country.” A video posted on social media showed workers in a company digging ground and complaining that there were no toilets.

Yet, the official said, “it is advised that complaints be lodged electronically with the ministry so that they become official to take action against the erring companies or individuals.”

Filing through the portal also helps the complainant seek updates on his/her case, he said. The online platform also clearly points out that an employer cannot act against the complainant for approaching the ministry with a complaint.

The labour laws in the country guarantee the rights of the worker and ensure a safe working environment.

“Teams from the ministry regularly carry out inspections at private sector companies and also at workers’ accommodation to ensure that there are no violations,” he said,

adding, “penal actions are taken against violators in accordance with the law.”

According to Article 38 of the Labour Law, an employer is obliged to provide the workers with suitable and appropriate accommodation, transport facilities and proper meals in places meant for the purpose. Drinking water should also be provided at the places within easy reach of the workers.

When contacted, an official at the Muscat Municipality said: “We will intensify checks at the labour accommodations to ensure that all the rules are being enforced,” he warned.

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