If you aren't aware yet, a decision was passed a few days ago banning contractors from working their staff during the hours of 12pm and 4pm during the summer. With the soaring heat and temperatures reaching 50 degrees celcius at times, it was probably the only humane thing to do. Obviously, such a decision was frowned upon by the contractors. Some argued loss of productivity, some argued increased expenses to transport labourers to and from accomodation during these work hours, and some went to the extent of saying that millions of dinars will be lost.
Can you believe that?
Contractors; I understand your frustration; I know that instead of making net profits of so and so million this year, you might have to deal with a few less million (if that is really how much it is going to cost you). I understand that you will have to forget about buying that fourth house in the Carribean this year. I understand, and I sympathise with your cause, I truly do. I also wish I had a house in the Carribean.
Why should they (the labourers) matter? After all, these labourers are plain animals, they're the ones who never work, slack off as much as they can, and cost you a fortune in salaries! They shouldn't get a break; they should stay in the sun, and work to earn that fortune that you pay them every month! I'm sure every single one of you contractors was born without a single cent to your name, and had to leave your family and friends and travel to a distant land to work like an animal for someone else who showed you no mercy, so that you can make a few dollars to eat every day. So why should you give these labourers a chance to relax? You worked hard all your life in the sun, didn't you?
But somehow, walking a few meters from your house to your car gets you all hot and sweaty. And you complain when your air conditioner isn't on full blast, and the temperature in your home soars to around 23 or 24 degrees.
Read the article below; an extract from today's GDN newspaper.
Working hours 'to hit mega projects'
By MANDEEP SINGH
PRODUCTIVITY in the contracting sector will drop by 50 per cent if the government's decision to stop labourers from working for four hours in the afternoon in July and August is implemented, it was claimed yesterday.
In a statement issued by the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it said the decision was impractical and would prove to be counter-productive.
"We are totally against it and will refuse to accept it," BCCI head of contractors' committee Samir Nass told the GDN yesterday.
You refuse to accept it?
"We have had a very lengthy discussion on the whole issue and are convinced that none of the contractors were consulted before the move was thought of," he said.
"This is going to be counter-productive, and will severely affect scores of infrastructure projects in Bahrain. The way it has been framed and is expected to be implemented is not right.
"There is an urgency in Bahrain these days to rapidly finish mega projects and these will be put off or delayed.
"The country cannot afford that. Productivity will fall by at least 50 per cent and that we can ill-afford."
Mr Nass said they were not only concerned about their profits, but about the impact the decision would have on Bahrain.
"Bahrain should not do it this way. No other country, even hotter than Bahrain, has such rules," he said.
"We are all concerned about our labour and do look after them. We will continue to do so. We want a fit and efficient labour force and we are concerned about them."
Mr Nass said no one cared to look at the technical aspect of the rule before it was drafted.
"There was no consultation with anyone," he said.
Of course there was no consultation; if it was left up to you, you would probably make them work 24 hours a day.
"What we want to know is how to transport the labour to their camps far away in peak traffic and get them back to the work sites in time to resume work.
"By the time they reach their accommodation, it will be past 1pm and then they should again leave by 3pm.
"They will have less than two hours of so-called rest."
On the other hand, he said, if they are not taken to their accommodation at noon and made to rest at the site for four hours, they will be within their rights to demand overtime.
"This is not going to work out at all," said Mr Nass.
He said all other associated work would also stop and would affect the projects overall.
"If heat is the only consideration, one should stop work for that time at refineries, smelters, shipyards, garbage dumps and power stations where people have to work indoors at temperatures in excess of 55 degrees," said Mr Nass.
He said that the contractors's committee has written to the Labour Ministry on these issues.
"We demand an immediate explanation on what we should do. We cannot stop work and agree to these impractical suggestions," said Mr Nass.
The ban on work at construction and other outdoor sites from noon to 4pm in July and August was issued by Labour Minister Majeed Al Alawi on Monday.
It follows a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
Only animals I see here are the contractors themselves