A Technical Committee of the OPEC and 11 non-members are meeting today in Abu Dhabi to as put by the Emirates News Agency http://wam.ae/en/details/1395302626261. They identify ways and means of raising levels of conformity. obviously review and discuss possibilities to reinforce their year old decision to pursue and potentially overhaul their production cut so as to possibly reach their goal of price sustenance if not increase. Meanwhile, a US shale oil surge and the recent crisis among the world’s greatest oil producer countries are certainly not helping the cartel’s future. In Qatar, everyday life because of this crisis is turning sour by the day as witnessed by hundreds of migrant workers. This article on how Qatari companies send workers on unpaid extended leave in order to maintain their businesses alive whilst the Gulf crisis drags on.
Aug 6 2017
The first month of the Saudi and UAE-led blockade on Doha did not visibly impact the daily lives’ of most people. However, as the blockade closes on its second month, the effects are increasingly felt by migrants in the hospitality, construction and shipping industries.
Employees in these sectors have been asked to go on unpaid ‘long leave’ for two to three months, in addition to their standard 30 days of paid annual leave.
Some popular five-star hotels have asked several employees to take additional leave due to lack of business. Although official figures estimate 61% hotel occupancy, employees claim a far lower rate.
“Six restaurants in our hotel has been closed. We have more than 550 rooms but only a few are occupied now. Most of our restaurant staff and others have been sent on long leave. It’s in addition to the entitled annual leave. Some are sent on three months, others on four months of extra leave. But they won’t pay for this additional leave. Although they assure us, we are not sure if will be called back to work or the hotel will extend the leave,” said Leela, an employee of a five-star hotel. She is the breadwinner for her family back home in Sri Lanka and fears the new uncertainty in her job.
“My annual leave will be due in another two months. If the situation continues it will affect me as well. Our salary is only QR 3000. I can’t imagine being without a salary for three months,” she added.
Sarah, another hotel employee working as a kitchen aide said, “initially the hotel management asked which of us wishes to go on six months unpaid leave, due to lack of guests. Then later they told some employees to take three months extra leave in addition to our annual leave. Many have been sent on at least two months of unpaid leave.”
As the majority of construction materials are imported from neighbouring countries or brought in by land through those borders, this sector has also slowed down and some employees currently on annual leave have been asked to not come back for another two months.
“There are some materials in stock, but they’ll run out soon. It will take at least six months to bring materials from other countries and to find alternative routes. Some of our staff on annual leave have been asked to not return for a couple of months,” according to a quantity surveyor at a construction company.
Similarly, employees of some shipping agents have been asked to take at least four months unpaid leave due to lack of work. Their children and spouses have also had to leave the country. Most shipping and clearance agents work closely with their sister companies in neighbouring GCC countries.
“I’m given four months unpaid leave. My wife is not working so we can’t manage if I’m not paid. I have two children studying here. So we decided to go home and enrol our children at schools there. I will come back if things return to normal and if my employer decides to keep me on the job,” said Satish, an Indian expatriate working for a shipping and clearance agent.
Read more in the original document.