Thursday, September 15, 2011

Slave labour in Oman - does nothing change?!

I've just been flicking my way through the 14th September edition of The Week. Having read the lead article on the plight of the eight construction workers from Orissa, India, who resigned due to the appalling treatment they were given by the company which employed them, The Al Kindy Distinct Project, I'm astounded that this sort of practice continues in Oman today.

The cogs of Omani society are oiled by TCNs doing the work that some locals deem to base and demeaning to do (not all locals, I venture to add, just some) but if you're employed to do this work then you should be paid a fair wage and given decent working/living conditions - no matter what type of work you do.

I first lived in Oman almost 20 years ago and even back then there were labour laws which set out the rights of the worker. Why doesn't the Omani government implement these laws? It beggars belief that Oman is held in such high regard by the international community for its progress over the last 40 years when it has such scant regard for many of the labourers who built the country and continue to sustain it day in day out, year on year.

Shame on the Al Kindy Distinct Project for their cruel and reprehensible behaviour towards its expatriate workers and shame on the Omani government for allowing such companies to exist and thrive in a country which deserves better.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eid Mubarak! (Enjoy your drink!)

Texted a few friends back in Oman on the occasion of Eid. Two were standing in separate lines ready to pay for booze after the long slog through Ramadhan. Nice to see some things haven't changed since I left!