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Sun 20 Mar 2011 01:56 PM

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Workers at Oman oil refineries stage demonstrations

Protesters complain that they are among the least-paid oil workers in the Gulf

Workers at Oman oil refineries stage demonstrations
OMAN PROTESTS: About 200 workers at two refineries staged demonstrations on Sunday, demanding higher wages, as a series of concessions by Omans veteran ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said have failed to quell discontent and unrest (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

About 200 workers at two

refineries staged demonstrations on Sunday, demanding higher

wages, as a series of concessions by Oman's veteran ruler Sultan

Qaboos bin Said have failed to quell discontent and unrest.

The protesters, along with those working in an oil field who

went on strike last week, have complained that they are among

the least-paid oil workers in the Gulf.

"We want higher pay, better pension, training, regular

promotions and more Omanis in the management team," Mohamed Al

Harthi, one of the protesters at the Muscat refinery, said.

The normally tranquil oil-producing nation at the mouth of

the Gulf was stunned by protests last month that left at least

one person dead in the industrial city of Sohar.

Oman produces about 800,000 barrels per day of oil, which

accounts for more than 70 percent of the sultanate's income.

The two affected refineries are the Muscat refinery, with an

output of 85,000 barrels per day, and the Sohar refinery,

producing 120,000 barrels per day.

The government has already declared it would double monthly

welfare payments and increase pension benefits for citizens.

On March 10, other Gulf Arab oil producers launched a $20

billion job-generating aid package for Bahrain and Oman, as both

face anti-government protests inspired by uprisings across the

Arab world.

Qaboos has fired 12 ministers since the protests against his

rule began, and so far has offered to cede some legislative

powers to the partly elected Oman Council, an advisory body.

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sam 9 years ago

Free food, less working hours, no question of failing for graduation, retirement after 10 years, free air fare like expats, pay parity like expats with less work, the wish list goes on... the hard work done by the Sultan for 40 years have gone down the drain within 2 months.