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Posted On: 5 February 2009 09:16 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Waiting it out

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Although the impact of the global financial turbulence on Qatar is the least as compared to its neighbours, some construction companies are laying off staff to cut costs. According to sources in the trade and industry circles, some of these companies are ‘relieving’ their employees asking them to come back when the situation improves. “It’s kind of long leave, albeit without pay, for the workers being relieved (laid off). It’s an arrangement which is convenient for both, the company and its employees. They have the option to return when the situation has improved,” said a source. And many in the local trade and industry believe that the impact of the mounting global recession may not last beyond the current year. “We are optimistic and feel that the situation should begin improving by the year-end,” the source added. But there are others in the trade and industry circles who believe the problem emanating from the mounting recessionary pressure is serious. According to business magnate and industrialist, Abdul Hadi Al Shahwani, many of the companies which are suffering in the current environment of recession are the ones which were set up here during the economic boom. “Companies which are old and well-entrenched are doing fine. They are not affected,” he told this newspaper yesterday. And the companies which are suffering due to the recessionary pressure are retrenching workers by the hundreds and the problem is quite serious, said Al Shahwani. Hundreds of skilled and semi-skilled workers who have been retrenched by the above-mentioned firms have been allowed by these companies to hunt for jobs. They have not been repatriated, and so they are roaming around desperately looking for employment. “I can tell you this because many of them are coming to us asking for employment. Based on that I can tell you that there is a problem and it is quite serious,” said Al Shahwani. “The authorities concerned should pay attention because these are the people who are here and they are unemployed. They can create social and security-related problems,” he said. The authorities should coordinate with the embassies of the countries of these ‘stranded’ workers and look for an effective solution to their problems, he said. Al Shahwani said he did not believe that it was true that some companies were serious about getting their retrenched workers back when the situation improved. It is retrenchment.