Kuwait oil workers set to strike over pay dispute
The union said the strike will start next Sunday at all production units in the oil-rich country
Kuwait’s oil union decided on Monday to begin a “total strike” next week following a dispute with the oil ministry over a new payroll rejected by workers.
The decision was taken at an emergency general assembly meeting of the union a day after talks with acting oil minister Anas al-Saleh broke down without agreement.
The union said the strike will start next Sunday at all production units in the oil-rich country.
Discontent among oil workers started after Kuwait, like other oil producers, began taking measures to cut spending in the face of the sharp decline in global crude prices.
The government is introducing a new payroll scheme for all public employees and wants to include the 20,000 oil workers, which would mean an automatic cut in wages and incentives.
Head of the union Saif al-Qahtani said that workers presented a number of alternatives during Sunday’s meeting with the minister but they were rejected.
The union is also protesting plans to privatize part of the oil sector.
Kuwait is OPEC’s fourth largest producer, pumping around 3.0 million barrels per day.
The wages oil workers receive are significantly higher than other public employees.