Muscat: More than 250 trade unions have been formed to protect workers’ rights in Oman, according to the government body set up to monitor abuses.
According to the data made available to The Arabian Stories, 261 trade unions have been formed in Oman, since 2016, to protect the rights of both local and expat workers in the country’s private sector, according to the General Federation of Oman Workers, the body that represents and protects worker rights.
“We started in 2010, and since then, we have 261 trade unions,” said Nabhan Al Battashi, Chairman of the General Federation of Oman Workers. The unions have been formed in various sectors such as oil and gas, commerce and industry and tourism and construction, so to ensure that workers’ rights are safeguarded, enabling them to report any violations carried out against them by employers.
The General Federation of Oman Workers has previously stepped in when required by employees. For example, in late 2018, the federation stipulated that employers who provide substandard living quarters for workers would be pulled up by federation. “Improving the living condition of workers is the obligation of the employer,” a spokesman for the General Federation of Oman Workers said.
“An employer has the option of providing housing to workers or he/she may give the worker a certain allowance for housing.”
“In certain companies, the employer is forced to provide housing allowance, in addition to providing accommodation; this depends on the nature of the work and the locatiom,” he added. “These standards regulate bathroom conditions, workers’ sleeping areas, areas designated for serving food, ventilation systems, and a space for changing clothes.”
Similarly, the federation also organises workshops with employees to know what their concerns are and how they can alleviate them.