Kuwaiti workers fight for their rights

This video says about itself:

Hundreds of ex-pat Asians have gone on strike in Kuwait. The mostly Bangladeshi workforce is asking for better pay and better working conditions for the thousands of Asians working here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Kuwaiti customs walkout hits ports and oil exports

Tuesday 11 October 2011

by Our Foreign Desk

Over 3,000 customs officers maintained a strike in Kuwait for a second day today, hitting trade and threatening to halt oil exports.

The open-ended walkout has paralysed ports and oil terminals and is causing long delays at airports and land borders.

Customs Employees Union activist Fahhad al-Ajmi said that his members were taking action to demand a pay rise and better working conditions.

“The strike is still on and we will continue until our demands are fully met,” he declared.

Although Kuwait is one of Opec’s top oil exporters, the government asserts that it cannot afford to significantly boost the pay of public-sector staff.

And it has told the strikers that their demands will not be considered while walkouts are taking place.

Ministers in the government, which is dominated by the ruling al-Sabah family, announced that they have formed a “crisis team” to take “all necessary measures” to keep key industries functioning, including drafting in scabs.

Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ali al-Rashed said the government may bring in replacement workers from “in or outside Kuwait to carry out duties in an appropriate manner.”

The government has been rocked by a wave of strikes that began last month after organised state oil staff won pay increases of between 15.5 and 66 per cent following a threat to take industrial action.

So far, strikes have hit banks and factories and almost grounded state airline Kuwait Airways.

Last week, a group of firefighters tried to storm the main fire department building to demand workplace changes.

In January ruling emir Sheik Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah ordered 1,000 dinar (£2,300) grants and free food vouchers for every one of his subjects.

But Kuwait‘s handouts have since been dwarfed by the efforts of other Gulf rulers to use their riches to blunt calls for political and social reform.

Saudi Arabia‘s King Abdullah has pledged about £60 billion for more civil servant jobs and services.

Last month, Qatar announced pay and benefit rises of 60 per cent for public-sector staff and up to 120 per cent for some military officers.

Public sector strikes hit Kuwait: here.

4 thoughts on “Kuwaiti workers fight for their rights

  1. Pingback: Kuwaitis protest against corruption and dictatorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Indonesian maid tortured in Kuwait | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Kuwaiti workers’ victory | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Bangladesh garment workers fight poverty | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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