South Asian labourers return to work at Oman airport

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

Thousands of South Asian labourers working on the expansion of Muscat airport resumed work on Wednesday after authorities agreed to improve safety conditions at the site, workers said.

A company official and workers said thousands of labourers had downed tools on Tuesday demanding better safety conditions after a colleague was killed in an accident. But the company said the workers were given the day off to mourn for the deceased colleague.

"We are assured by the company that an investigation is being conducted and safety issues will be improved at the airport," Mohan Raman, a BEB worker told Reuters. "That is the reason we are back to work today."

Abhinav Akshay, another labourer at the project, said: "We have been assured that safety standards will be revised so we can work without fear of injuries."

"Our supervisors told us that the safety environment will be better from now on. We agreed to go back to work today because of that assurance," Jagdip Mohanlal, a third BEB worker told Reuters.

Mike Lewis, BEB project director, confirmed the workers had returned to work, but denied the work stoppage was a strike.

"We gave them a day off yesterday to mourn for one of their colleagues out of compassion," he said on Wednesday.

The work stoppage raised concerns it could further delay the US$1.8bn contract to build a new terminal, which the Omani government awarded in 2010 to BEB, a joint venture between US company Bechtel, Turkey's Enka and the Omani company Bahwan.

The extension of Muscat airport was originally scheduled to be completed by end of this year, but officials said last year it was expected to take until the end of 2014 because of soft ground in the middle of the new runway.

Strikes are rare in Oman and other Gulf Arab states, which employ million of South Asians, mostly construction workers.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Mall talk

Mall talk

Plans for Dubai’s Mall of the World have made headlines all over...

1
Qatar's labour requirements

Qatar's labour requirements

Qatar’s Supreme committee has published worker welfare standards...

2
$40bn housing deal may signal Gulf investment push into Egypt

$40bn housing deal may signal Gulf investment push into Egypt

Egypt's economy is recovering only slowly from the turmoil that...

Most Discussed
  • 9
    UAE teens among the highest for obesity rates

    @MT3 I forgot to add that of course this is assuming that the UAE moves toward a single payer model, something that I think has never been considered ... more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 8:36 PM - Telcoguy
  • 9
    Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

    Surprisingly the only studies that show a negative financial impact of the smoking ban on the hospitality industry are sponsored by tobacco companies ... more

    Wednesday, 27 August 2014 4:19 PM - Telcoguy
  • 3
    Saudi Arabia said to shelve plan for shorter working week

    It is working fine in the other gulf countries. In Oman, it is working very well and people, including business owners, adapted. Prices did not significantly... more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 6:23 PM - Tariq AD