Labour forum mulls concession areas for housing and tourism

The development of some concession areas in Oman and making them attractive places for housing and tourism were mooted at the Labour Forum for Enhancement of Work Environment in Oil and Gas sector here on Tuesday.
“Such developments will reduce logistics operations to transport workers and goods and improve the nature of living in the place of work in deserts,” said Saud bin Nasser bin Saif al Salmi, Chairman of PDO Workers Union, in his presentation during the forum.
He called for continuity and sustainability in updating legislation and regulations relating to the oil and gas sector at an appropriate pace to keep up with the scientific and economic developments.
“This will rectify the gaps and problems arising from the current law such as Article 48 and its damage to some companies and Article 37 of the Labour Law and its harm to workers whose services have been terminated arbitrarily,” he said. These are some of the recommendations made by Al Salmi during the two-day forum organised by SASLO Legal Training Centre (SLTC) in association with Omani Society of Petroleum Services (OPAL).
The forum, which has speakers from different parts of the region, will conclude at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Qurum today.
From the workers’ unions’ part, Al Salmi said, “They should analyse the internal regulations of the company and ensure their compliance with Ministry of Manpower’s guidelines, and ensure all employees have access to it.” It should be brought to the knowledge of the management of the company in case there are any contradictions between them and labour law, he urged.
In his presentation, Musallam al Mandhry, CEO of OPAL, called for amendments in some articles in labour law, especially those dealing with particular jobs.
While stressing on the need for more cooperative environment in the sector, he reminded that employees in the sector have started getting more benefits after the signing of the helicopter agreement in 2011.
He said nationals form 85 per cent of the workforce in the rigs.
In his paper, Said bin Ahmed bin Hamoud al Mahrouqi, President of the Oil and Gas Workers Unions, highlighted the importance of dialogue mechanism adopted by trade unions and their effectiveness in enhancing the relationship between employers and employees and stabilising the productive process. According to him, even though trade unions want to Omanise all positions with the possibility of granting exceptional time-limited permits for certain professions that do not have national cadres, the competent authorities require the qualification of the right Omanis to fill these positions.
Chairman and Founder of SASLO Said bin Saad al Shahry also participated in the panel discussion. Antony Issac, Executive Director of SLTC, welcomed the guests.