Strike-threat staff at Oman Air see wages rise 36%

Even the lowest-paid roles were increased more than the statutory minimum, says airline

Oman Air announced staff salaries have increased by an average of 36 percent between December 2010 and March 2013, just weeks after staff at Muscat Airport threatened to stage another unofficial strike over pay and conditions.

“Oman Air’s senior management has credited the airline’s continuing success to the dedication of its staff, and has reaffirmed its commitment to developing a supportive and competitive workplace environment across its 42-destination global network,” the airline said in a statement.

“Between December 2010 and March 2013, salaries at Oman Air have increased by an average of 36 percent, with even the lowest-paid roles paying significantly more than the statutory minimum. Employer’s contributions to Social Insurance have also increased,” it added.

Oman Air’s chief officer support services, Sheikh Ahmed Nabhani, said the carrier “has a highly efficient workforce of trained personnel at all levels, and Oman Air would not be flying so high without the dedication and devotion of all its staff.

"They are the permanent assets of the company and the cornerstone on which the progress and prosperity of Oman Air are built. Oman Air is proud of each individual, and we are confident that no achievement is too great and no horizon too distant, as long as our staff remain our driving force.”

The glowing endorsement comes just weeks after the carrier expressed its disappointed after a small number of staff members went on strike at Muscat International Airport.

“Oman Air is disappointed to learn that an unofficial strike has been called by a small number of staff at Muscat International Airport. No advance notice of the strike was given as required by the Omani labor law and the national regulations governing industrial action appear not to have been observed,” it said.

Earlier this year, up to 60 Oman Air staff also went on strike in Muscat in a bid to force the carrier into providing training and promotions.

Omani employees said promises by airline officials that they would receive regular training and compensation had not been implemented.

“We had discussions with the striking staff and heard their grievances related to compensation and promotions,” Philippe Georgiou, Oman Air’s chief officer for corporate affairs told the Oman Tribune.

In April 2011 the state-backed carrier agreed to double some staff salaries under a new pay deal agreed in the wake of industrial action called by employees.

Around 200 employees of the national carrier went on strike in March 2011 demanding higher salaries and better working conditions. The move followed a string of civil demonstrations in the sultanate against wage levels and unemployment.

“The airline is committed to improving salaries for all staff on job grades 4-9, and for cabin crew, by awarding a double pay increment,” a spokesperson for Oman Air said in a statement.

“Any staff on job grades 1-3 who did not receive a minimum double pay increment in the course of October 2010’s salary adjustment will be reimbursed.”

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