The last supper



Mohammed AlSaif

Published — Monday 17 December 2012

Last update 17 December 2012 5:20 pm

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When Leonardo Da Vinci created one of his memorable art pieces “The last supper” in the late 15th century, he spawned much speculation by writers and historians over the existence of supposed hidden messages or hints found within the painting.
Ironically, many writers and social media spectators generated the same speculations over another supper, given by the Saudi Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, who thought it was a good idea to invite a group of twitter celebrities to clarify the ministry’s point of view on the recent resolutions affecting the labor market.
Both the minister and his guest tweeps suffered a lot of negative feedback from people who thought it was inappropriate for the minister to try to influence the opinion of people with what some cynics considered a crafty way to get the young voices of social media on his side.
I suppose that a lot of the misconceptions over the dinner arrangement stems from the new strategies the Labor Minister has introduced, in both the way he is restructuring the labor market rules and how he is dealing with the media to win popular support. Businessmen who fear that the ministry’s impulsive decisions would have a negative impact on the national economy also questioned this move.
We have to understand that the local labor market situation has been suffering from years of negligence and disorganization. There is a great need to handle the alarming numbers of unemployment and illegal bulk labor that is harming the economy.
We are witnessing new dynamics in the way the labor market is working. It is within the rights of businessmen to express their reluctant point of view in the implementation of the new work resolutions. But at the same time, the labor ministry has the right to continue defending and clarifying its plans in the application of these resolutions in the way that it serves national development.
It is from healthy open discussions like this one that we can hope for a better development of labor regulations. Having labor strategies disputes will help to generate many long waited issues like working hours per week, deciding on the minimum wage, providing quality family and health insurance, social security and retirement plans.
One thing is certain from the new decisions of the esteemed Labor Minister, that he is keen on throwing rocks at the still pond of labor regulations. That in itself is a positive indicator for future outcomes.

A Tweet: “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
— Abraham Lincoln

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