(MENAFN - Arab News) The move to streamline the labor market by Labor Minister Adel Fakieh has evoked mixed reactions from the companies and employees. Some believe, it will contribute to a level field that will prove to be advantageous for all parties concerned. It is said that the cleanup will encourage and strengthen professionalism, but at the same time it will also create shortage of manpower.
Some say that before beginning streamlining the market, a replacement plan should be put into place to prevent collapse of the system.
The cleanup also means that the tendency to make maximum profit at minimum investment should give way to a more liberal and reasonable policy that contributes to profitability but not cutting corners when it comes to labor employment and benefits.
The attitude of the Saudi workers will also play an important part. It is heartening to note that an increasing number of nationals are joining the workforce, but they also have to adjust to the pays and privileges that the market can afford.
Mohammed Tahqique, factory manager, Al-Shamrani Factory for Draw Bar Trailers, stressed that the clean up of the market was necessary for safety and security reasons, and for making jobs available for Saudis. "This should have been done from the beginning at the time of nitaqat," he said.
According to him manpower shortage is there. "Earlier we had 95 workers, now we have to do with 50," he said, adding that it is not enough because the business is there, projects are being implemeted, and others are coming up.
As for the contract signed by the labor minister recently, he said it remains to be seen how many workers will come and on what conditions, and how they will be distributed. It is possible that big companies may get the manpower and small firms may not benefit that much.
Tahqique said the very fact that the ministry has launched "Maan" (Together) portal on its website to collect views and proposals of the public on various issues before arriving at a final decision, augurs well, as it will bring out the problems and also generate solutions to the same in an atmosphere of cooperation and coordination.
Azizurrab, general manager of a machinery division at Abdullah Hashim Co. Ltd. praised the portal in that perspective. "Unless this is clear nobody can accept or decline to comment and put forward proposals. If a clear and real picture is given people can be in a better position to contribute ideas and advise.
According to him, the day-to-day economy is rolled out by the common man. He explained that the middle class in any country moves the economy - not the lower class or the upper class.
He said that a proper replacement plan should be in place before beginning cleanup otherwise the system will collapse. "Most of the projects in Saudi Arabia are related with the government, and these are being announced and implemented with a strategy to develop the country and if the cleanup goes against it then this is not a healthy sign for a developing country," he added.