Tuesday, January 02, 2007
We're unionized and we didn't even know it
This is not new news. HM The Sultan ordered a 15% increase in basic pay for all civil servants a couple weeks ago. It was the first official pay increase for Omani civil servants in about 20 years. According to a friend in the HR industry, the average basic salary for Omani government employees is 200 rials only, so most of them will be getting about 30 extra rials a month, more or less. A college graduate who's been working 15 years might get 60 or 70 rials extra a month, depending on grade. That's almost $200, so it's not bad. But long overdue.
I have no issue or comment on the pay increase itself. The photo above is from a newspaper article that has been emailed all over the country about a week ago . According to the article, the president of the the "General Union for Omani Workers," Mr. Abduladhim Al Bahrani, is asking the private sector to follow His Majesty's lead by increasing their workers' pay by at least 10%, if not 15%.
Question, not that I disagree with his point of view, but: When was a union formed to represent me and when was Mr. Al Bahrani elected to speak on my behalf?
Where exactly is this union located, and being an Omani worker, am I automatically a member of it? Maybe I want to be an active member and want to take part in what they do? How do I make sure that their work is aligned with my views, and if it's not maybe I want to be there to represent those who are more like me.
Honestly, is there really a union or is this just an empty title put on Mr. Abduladhim by the ministry of manpower to make it look like Oman is progressive after signing the FTA with the US?
Correction: Mr. Abduladhim's is the Chairman of the General Federation of the Oman Trade Union.