For Wednesday January 4, 2012
My Website – www.majidall.com
At My Workplace!
The Five Days Working Week!
My theory – unless proven otherwise – still holds water that the increasingly frustrated people in the offices could perhaps explain the increased volumes of accidents and fatalities – and the tear and wear at the national and domestic home fabric!
Frankly with great shock and awe, I have noticed of the increasing ‘hot discussions’ going on now of the ‘five days working week – and the resistance to make any (further) changes based mainly on ‘increasing costs’ to the Companies by introduction of the ‘five days working week’ per se!
Truthfully, in some places like in Construction Companies – even the large ones for that matter – there is not even a one day rest but at best perhaps a few hours only rest in a day whilst the operations continue 24/7. That is where there is great resistance to change anything in favour of the employees – majority of them being mostly foreign Labourers and Non Skilled Workers – though it would not surprise me if it goes up to even middle and upper strata and echelons in the workforce even.
It is always the poor labourerexpatriates that get most hit and the general feeling is to keep ‘their minds fully occupied’ by nothing than only work and work – so that they have nothing else to think about – and after getting some food and rest!
You will excuse me for the strong language – but I have read that this is what also the Communists believe in! That is keeping the peoples’ minds occupied to get their food and shelter only – so they do not diverge out to other issues like asking for their rights and into politics! So it is queues and queues for bread – for food – you name it! Finally when the poor peasant has got it – he will be so dead tired to go and sleep – so he can get energies to stand in tomorrow’s queues all over again. If you have read also Animal Farm by George Orwell you will get the gist of my meaning here!
The most sad, ironical and tragic part is in my working career I had found the lower end expatriate working staff preferring to travel by airlines not of their own nations – because it is in the non-National Airlines where they get better treatment than from their own kind and home nationals – and there is lesser complaints of them being dirty, noisy and spoiling the toilets!
This also is the sad truth of how they get treated in the same way by their own kind in companies. I found this from real experiences of my own when I took over as a Human Resources Manager from an expatriate – and this labourer staff thanking me ‘to allow him to sit on the chair opposite my desk – Sir, I worked here for more than 18 years and today is the first time I am allowed to sit here whilst you are attending my case – and offering me tea too Sir!
I believe that what MOM Ministry of Manpower is doing now (Thank You!) is completely right, ethical, correct and professional by standing up to those Companies that do not want to change the 5 days working week – and if they want their staff to work extended hours and days they should be appropriately be compensated and be rewarded too accordingly!
It is ironical, sad and tragic that those big companies that profited greatly from contracts and projects in Oman – some major ones – are the same ones today making the strongest resistance to change – even for their own home nationals too!
As a National Human Resources Professional who strongly believes and practices greatly in correctness, ethics and professionalism – Yes I had indeed some issues and met the rawest treatment in interviews from such large construction companies! – But even without that – these poor people deserve a break too! Just like everyone else – Omanis and Non-Omanis alike!
Majid Al Suleimany
Muscat – Sultanate of Oman.