Reuters reports on strike of airline workers in Oman

I came across this item while researching another strike of airline catering workers at the Tunis Airport.

Oman Air staff strike for higher pay
Muscat: Sun, 06 Mar 2011

Around 200 staff of Oman Air, the flag carrier of the Gulf state, went on strike on Sunday demanding higher salaries, employees and company officials said.

A wave of revolts against oppressive leaders and economic hardships have been sweeping the Arab world over the past two months, ousting the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia. They now challenge regimes in Libya as well as nearby Bahrain and Oman.

The Sultanate, a small non-Opec oil producer, has seen some of the largest protests in the region demanding political reforms, jobs, and improvement of salaries.

“About 200 ground staff are on strike today from different departments, demanding higher pay,” a striking employee said.

Strikers gathered at the airline’s headquarters for around two hours, and threatened to continue their action on Monday.

“The CEO wanted 48 hours to think about it but the staff said there will be a total strike tomorrow if they don’t get a clear answer by then,” a company’s human resources official, who had negotiated with protesters, told Reuters, without giving details of the pay demands.

The website of Dubai’s International Airport showed Oman Air flights from Muscat were largely unaffected on Sunday.

“Flights are operating as usual today but the strike may extend to flying passengers if we don’t see any positive steps from the CEO tomorrow,” said a protesting employee of the airline’s flight services operations.

Oman Air, fully owned by the government, offers flights to Asian destinations such as Bangkok and Bangladesh’s Chittagong, as well as European cities including Frankfurt and Paris.

Unrest in the normally tranquil oil-producing state, ruled by Sultan Qaboos for four decades, included protests in the capital Muscat and in the port of Sohar, which is an industrial hub.

Sultan Qaboos replaced two ministers on Saturday after promising earlier to create 50,000 jobs, in response to the protests.-Reuters

And This aparently showing that the strike had some impact,.

Oman Air raises salaries in effort to end strikes
by Robeel Haq on Apr 7, 2011

A large-scale protest was staged by hundreds of Oman Air employees in Muscat last month, with demands for higher salaries, better working conditions, more training, and the removal of expatriate managers in favour of nationalisation.

For the first time in the carrier’s history, industrial action was taken by around 200 ground workers from the baggage handling, catering, flight information and cleaning departments, although their protests appeared to have a limited impact on flight operations. Some of the employees had arrived at the Oman Air headquarters on 6th March but refused to work, while others had opted to take a sick day.

In total, the action lasted around two hours and demands were later handed to Oman Air CEO Peter Hill, with threats that aircraft would be grounded at Muscat International Airport the following day unless the requests were considered. Representatives from the group were then invited to meet with the board of directors, as well as senior managers from each of the airline’s departments.

About rawlinsview

News and political commentary from the point of view of the social interests of the international working class.
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