Omantel employees resume protests

Omantel employees protest in front of the company's headquarters in Mawaleh on Wednesday (Muscat Daily)

Muscat - 

Unsatisfied with the management’s decision regarding their demands, over 200 employees of Omantel staged a demonstration in front of the company’s headquarters in Mawaleh again on Wednesday, after the initial, short-lived protest on March 9.

Omantel said that most of the reasonable demands have already been fulfilled, including promoting all employees who have not been promoted in the past three years or more. Shouting slogans and holding placards, the employees expressed their anger at the management’s ‘indifference’ towards their demands.

The employees have a list of 51 demands.Their main demand is a 50 per cent salary hike with employees adding that a promotion without a significant rise in salary does not mean anything to them.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Mohammed al Salmi, media manager at Omantel, said, “Omantel responded to the employees’ demands and took necessary action to improve job conditions.This includes promoting all the employees who have not been promoted for the past three years or more. In addition, the company has decided to give a certain percentage of basic salary as an increment. The other improvements Omantel offered included technical allowance, risk allowance and call centre allowance. On the non-cash benefits side, the company has improved the health insurance and offered better training and development opportunities for employees willing to pursue their higher education.”

Ashtar Muhsin, a protester said, “Previously, the company responded to some of our demands but unfortunately, the changes made by the company did not meet our aspirations. They didn’t take our demands seriously and the changes were made to serve the interests of senior employees.

We have asked the Minister of Transport and Communications to be a mediator in the negotiations between our representatives and the management.” Sameer al Zidjali, a manager with Omantel, said, “Personally, I don’t agree with ignoring the demands of the protesters because this will harm the company and disrupt their business. The company should, instead, have a dialogue with the protesters to reach a solution that will satisfy all parties.”

Main demands

1    Sack the CEO and his assistants for their inability to develop the company and replace them with distinguished, qualified Omani cadres from the company
2    Hike salaries by up to 50 per cent or RO300 at least for the employees. Senior employees and expatriates shouldn’t be included in the hike
3    Promote employees who haven’t been promoted since 2008
4    Conduct a study to provide interest-free housing loans for the employees like other leading companies in the sultanate
5    RO50 or ten per cent as a yearly increment  
6    Grant all employees an equal, yearly bonus from the company’s revenues
7    Provide opportunities for further education of the employees who wish to continue their higher studies
8    Provide free for employees, the services that are provided by Omantel - Internet, mobile and landline phones
9    Take on board those Omani employees on temporary contracts who have already completed one year in the company, as per their qualifications and experience
10    Reduce the number of work hours for employees in the company’s service centres as it affects their health and productivity

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