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28 Sep 2015

Times of Oman

Oman: New labour laws to secure workers' rights

"New labour laws to secure workers' rights in Oman", 20 September 2015

"Oman's new labour laws are critical for protecting the rights of workers. But a law without compliance will fail to generate a productive culture for both businesses and labour," Sharan Burrow, the secretary general of ITUC, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview...The trade union leader said there is a need for reform in the Kafala system, which has kept migrant workers bonded with employers. "The new law in Oman, inclusive of the labour court, needs to be implemented as soon as possible to ensure a commitment to non-discriminatory labour laws and the emerging practice of social dialogue being backed by a rule of law. With this in place, there is an optimistic future for all workers in Oman," Burrow added...She added that while there are labour camps in Oman that are isolated due to the company's location and some that need upgrading, it is heartening to visit these humane accommodations. Even as she was impressed with the labour laws and the present situation in Oman, Burrow said that there are, of course, unresolved issues for both local and migrant workers. "Many companies still discriminate. There are three differing contracts - for Omani workers; for migrants from the east and for western expats," Burrow added...