The road leading to Crowne Plaza Muscat was blocked by 250 hotel staff members, who had assembled since 4am to ask for the removal of a senior manager. Their second demand was a rise in salary.
Mohammad al Zadjali, another employee of the hotel, said, “There are no bonus, promotions and sick leaves. There have been promises of wage hikes but nothing has occurred till now. There are people who have been working here since 2000 and they too have not got any salary hike. We were promised a New Year bonus but that didn’t materialise. They are exploiting and cheating us.”
He added that although Crowne Plaza is a part of IHG, which also manages Al Bustan Palace and InterCon, there is a difference in salary packages. Khalid al Balushi of the recreation section said, “We are from the same family but the employees of other hotels are paid more than us. This is a clear discrimination, which cannot be tolerated.”
Another employee, Sultan al Harsi, said, “We hardly get any promotion. However, new employees are promoted within a short span of time.” In the afternoon, the management held a meeting with the protesters and agreed to increase the salary by RO15.
However, the management offer was turned down by the protesters. Zadjali said, “This is ridiculous. We don’t need this petty amount. We need a salary at par with Al Bustan Palace and InterCon employees.” The management has sought three days’ time to take a final decision on staff demands.