MUSCAT – Around 200 private sector workers staged a sit-in around government buildings in Oman’s capital on Thursday, urging the Gulf Arab state’s ruler to ensure a pay rise that matches an increase for state employees.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has ruled Oman for 40 years, ordered a pay rise last week for civil servants and government pensioners, in a move to calm protesters demanding better wages.
Private sector workers make up around 19 per cent of workers in Oman. They say they are excluded from benefits the sultan has been using to coax Omanis off the streets, as workers at public and private companies continue to stage sit-ins and strikes over wages, including at two oil refineries last Sunday.
“What about people like us working for the private sector? The government must provide funding for the private sector to get us a raise, too,” said Mohammed Al Tiwani, a protester sitting outside Muscat’s ministerial buildings.