Oman oil and gas strike called off amid assurances


Oman OIL AND GAS TRADE unions have called off a strike scheduled for Wednesday after they say they received substantial assurances from negotiators in the sector.

The strike, which was intended to coincide with Oman National Day, comes amid massive layoffs in the oil and gas sector. Over 1,600 Omanis have lost their jobs in recent weeks by contracting companies citing the slump in oil prices for REVENUE losses.

It is legal to unionise in Oman, but strikes in the oil and gas sector are actually illegal because the country’s economy is largely dependent upon it. A statement issued by Oman’s Council of Ministers recently warned companies against unilateral layoffs without consulting with the government to find alternative solutions.

Sayyid Fahad Bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister, said the government, acting in line with directives from Sultan Qaboos, is working diligently to ‘safeguard’ the stability of Omanis working in different sectors.

Last week the ministerial committee tasked with finding a solution to the mass layoffs suggested companies first fire expatriates.

They also recommended that companies who obtain new contracts give preference to Omanis when hiring.

There are more than 20,000 Omanis working in the oil and gas sector. There are also 25 operating trade unions in the sector.

More than 2,000 families have been affected as many Omanis who are the sole breadwinners have lost their jobs.

The situation is both tragic and worrying, Al Saud Salmi, chairman of the OIL AND GAS TRADEUnion told Gulf News.