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Kuwait - Oil workers protest cuts
KUWAIT: Photo shows oil workers protesting against the proposal to remove some of their benefits. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
KUWAIT: Over 3000 workers from different oil companies gathered at the Oil and Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation building yesterday to protest against the proposed decisions to remove some of their benefits. The President of the Oil and Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation Seif Al-Qahtani said that all the unions and workers are united – as they reject any form of cuts. “We’re not creating problems; we are just defending our rights,” he said.
“Oil labor unions have the same demands. We are against the Strategic Alternative which is – death to the oil sector. Also we are also against privatizing the oil sector which will put us under the power of private sector and the businessmen,” he added. Salah Al-Marzouq, Chairman of the KOC Labor Union said that the oil crisis is caused by wrong policies and bad management. “The salaries of the oil sector employees is already included in the cost of oil barrel – and is not included in the fifth section of the national budget (salaries) – so it’s not part of the budget” he stressed.
“If the minister and chairman of KOC continue to issue abusive decisions aiming to let the Kuwaiti employees leave the oil sector or violate their rights, we will continue to protest,” Al marzouq added. Mohammed Al-Hajiri, President of the Labor Union of Kuwait Petroleum Company noted that the salaries of the oil sector employees do not cost the government even 1 KD. Some of the MPs who attended the protest rally threaten to grill the Oil Minister if these decisions were taken. The MPs include; Abdullah Al Tamimi, Mohammed Tana, Khalid Al Tahous and Madhi Al Hajri.
Responding to recent inquiries about offering some oil facilities for ‘privatization’ through PPP (Public Private Partnership), Deputy PM, Finance Minister and Acting Oil Minister Anas Al-Saleh said that Kuwait’s development plan has adopted economic reforms based on PPP principles – creating real chances of partnership with the private sector.