By: Mohammed Al Badi
MUSCAT: The General Federation of Oman Trade Unions expressed deep sorrow over the death of five workers in separate incidents in less than a week, a statement issued by the union on Sunday said. The federation, which encompasses various labour unions in the private sector, has raised concern over the repeated fatal accidents, pressed for a probe and called authorities concerned to bring those accidents under scrutiny.
“Assuming the role of responsibility shouldered by the General Federation of Oman Trade Union to represent and defend the Sultanate’s workers, the federation is calling competent authorities to probe the reasons leading to those incidents and investigate the companies with which (those workers) were employed.”
In its statement, the federation has brought the issue pertaining to the “companies’ compliance with requirements of occupational safety and health” to surface, as it is implicitly has touched on the extent of the adherence to the provisions of the Labour Law by the contracting companies under which the foreign workers are paid a minimum RO 120.
A week of fatal incidents had seen the death of two workers following the collapse of a mountain tip at a work site while laying water pipelines on April 27 and another incident saw a man falling into a sewer hole on May 1 and two workers were killed while carrying out digging works. In a previous report published by the Observer on April 30 titled ‘Safety of workers in question after incident,’ which came after the incident that had seen three workers trapped under a rubble, two of them died and one was rescued, the sole survivor of the incident said: “I don’t know what the future holds for me; I just came to Oman some years ago and as I didn’t get my visa renewed, I decided to work for other companies.
Thinking that I risked my life for just RO 120 a month which is few thousands taka in my country, I hate myself.” With the recurrence of such accidents, operational conditions are to be reconsidered and periodic inspections of work sites are to be carried out by authorities concerned, the federation statement added.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER