We from India have seen so many protests during our life time and have got used to the same but then protests in Oman is something new and I can vouch that no one expected this to happen in years to come. But then it happened and in fact the early glimpse of these were during late January 2011 in the Ministry area and also in Oman Air at Seeb airport and these both were termed as one off instance. The protest gathered momentum after the incident at Sohar and after that it has been free for all and at any time. The latest one was by Shell petrol and today it is back to normal. Government has given in to most demands by the protesters and now it is the turn of the Omani’s working in the private sector to organize the protests so that their demand are met. Most demands by them are quite legitimate such as increments on regular basis, taking on responsibilities… hope it is with accountability !! and so forth.
Some demands such as lesser working hours(similar to Government employees working timing) and 5 days a week does not gel with private sector companies since they need to work 6 days a week to ensure they meet the bottom line. So also the construction and contracting industry since the time lines for the project are pretty tight and the same can be achieved only if they work minimum of 6 days for 10 hours. All over the world the average working hours per week is considered as 48 hours and if this criteria is followed then I suppose the daily work timings will be roughly nine and half hour without considering the lunch break in the event of 5 day week scenario which seems to be inevitable ….. this does put in lots of tensions on the expat workers who have to work the entire office hours and also work on Thursdays as usual without getting any benefits.
Now you must be wondering as to why an expat has to work on Thursdays without benefits while everyone else are enjoying their week end…. Well it is because he has a Damocles sword hanging over his head all the time and he would not like his boss to label him .. not a hard worker ( well most Indian companies I know say that people who really work hard are the ones who put in long hours of working ) A wrong sense of judging a person’s capabilities.
Beyond a point these protests would be meaningless and ignored like it is being done in India and the very reason would get diluted and nobody is going to care.... Is that what you want !!!!!