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Building union power in Oman’s industrial sectors

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7 October, 2021Together with the General Federation of Oman Workers (GFOW), IndustriALL organized an online workshop in August this year to discuss collective bargaining  and collective  agreements for sectoral unions in Oman. Around 30 participants from different industrial sectors, including energy and base metals, participated.

The GFOW was established in 2010 and has six sectoral unions in oil and gas, education, construction, industry, tourism and electricity.

The workshop was the first step towards deepened cooperation with the union movement in Oman.

Ahmed Mubarak, GFOW general secretary, said: 

"We value the cooperation with IndustriALL and believe that this joint work is of added value to us in Oman, especially with regards to strengthening sectoral work, our sectoral unions and developing collective agreements."

Participants discussed a number of issues, including the impact of the Corona pandemic on private sector workers, the non-Omani workforce and the informal  sector. During the pandemic, GFOW has addressed workers’ challenges and violations with the respective parties. GFOW is a member of the national committee dealing with layoffs, composed of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment Promotion, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labor and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation has started to have an impact in Oman as around 700 workers have been laid off from the meter reading sector in the electricity sector. However, as GFOW intervened, laid-off workers have been reinstated and trained for other jobs within the company.

The webinar included presentations Oman’s national legislation and collective agreements,  experiences of social dialogue and collective and sectoral agreements from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe and IndustriALL’s global framework agreements.

Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary, said:

"We congratulate GFOW for taking practical and serious steps towards strengthening sectoral work. International union solidarity is an important pillar in order to confront the impact of Industry 4.0, climate change and energy transition on workers, especially with regards to decent work."