By April 19, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Kuwait oil strike will continue: Union spokesman

Kuwait oil strike to continue until public sector pay reforms cancelled

Kuwait oil strike

The Kuwait oil strike began on Sunday and has cut production to 1.1 million barrels per day from 2.8 million in March.  China Xinhua News Twitter photo.

KUWAIT, April 19 (Reuters) – Thousands of striking Kuwaiti oil and gas workers will carry on with their three-day-old strike until planned public sector pay cuts are cancelled, their spokesman said on Tuesday.

But in a television interview after the announcement, Kuwait’s oil minister ruled out negotiations with the employees until they stopped their action, signalling that a dispute which has nearly halved the OPEC member’s crude production is deepening.

“The strike is ongoing until the implementation of the demands of the workers,” Farhan al-Ajmi, head of the Petrochemicals Industries Company workers union, told a news conference.

“A decision to cancel is linked to the abolition of decisions issued by the Petroleum Corporation,” he said.

Workers fear reduced salaries, benefits and staff layoffs will be part of a planned government overhaul of the payroll system in the public sector.

In an interview with Kuwaiti TV channel al-Rai, Kuwait’s acting oil minister Anas al-Saleh said production would continue and that no talks would proceed during a strike.

“We cannot sit down at the negotiating table with the unions during a strike. We will achieve the impossible to continue to operate the oil sector despite the strike,” Saleh said.

(Reporting by Ahmed Hegagy, Writing by Noah Browning, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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