Ali Al Matani –
The Sultanate celebrates Labour Day on May 1 every year. It is an international day which is celebrated by the countries all over the world to pay tribute to the the efforts made by workers in the process of development including construction and infrastructure and in recognition of the role they play in various fields.
But this year, we were surprised to find that some companies celebrated the Labour Day as some workers were laid off. That too, unfortunately, without any social protection.
The matter of concern for all of us is that if such things continue, it would not be good for all of us.
It is important to find long-term solutions to ensure stability of local employees.
The companies which help the growth of the national cadre should be compensated.
There should be more guarantees to create stability for national cadre in the private sector as a largest employer of Omanis.
There is no doubt that the Labour Day falls on the first of May every year as an international event which highlights the importance of the workers.
With this, we show our recognition and honestly pay tribute to this segment of the society. This is an opportunity to appreciate the efforts these workers despite all sorts of pressures they face.
There are efforts made by the Ministry of Manpower to address the problems of lay offs by bringing legislation. It has made it mandatory for companies to transfer employees to other companies which have been awarded tenders and contracts.
It has also made regulations and frameworks to provide stability for Omanis and non-Omanis.
The ministry should also exert parallel efforts by government organisations and companies concerned to achieve the objective of creating stability for Omanis and empowering them.
Every time when such problems arise big companies should find permanent solution for such issues.
I am sure that the government is fully aware of this and would take necessary action.
The workers union in the Sultanate of Oman and other sectoral labour associations are exerting efforts to address the problems of layoff of national cadre.
These unions also suggest solutions to create stability and sustainability of national workers in the private sector. But these efforts alone are not enough, if the employers do not understand the legitimacy and the importance of these unions in the protection of workers’ rights and the importance of dialogue to solve problems.
The workers’ unions issued statements after layoffs. This type of treatment by companies has surprised many and these firms should help the government in its efforts to generate employment opportunities. The unions expressed their disapproval of the layoffs of national manpower.
Some companies have issued letters of termination to some employees, according to one of the labour unions.
Another company is also in the process of laying off Omanis.
One thing which should be appreciated is that five sectoral workers’ unions which were formed during last five years have issued a joint statement urging all companies to provide insurance against joblessness on which the Public Authority for Social Insurance is already working.
To be fair, there are some companies which may have to terminate some employees as there are no work orders.