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Labor unions stage sit-in to protest ‘interference’

KUWAIT: Labor union members stage a protest outside the Manpower Public Authority yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
KUWAIT: Labor union members stage a protest outside the Manpower Public Authority yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Several Kuwaiti labor unionists organized a sit-in in front of Manpower Public Authority in protest against its alleged interference in the internal affairs of labor unions. President of the Arab Union of Municipalities and Tourism Workers and President of Kuwait Municipality Workers’ Union Mohammad Al-Arada said the sit-in was in protest of the interference by the social affairs and labor minister and the authority in the union’s internal affairs through the issuance of the labor union activity organizing rules. Arada claimed this is a flagrant violation of international treaties and the state’s constitution, without regard to the state’s reputation.

He said labor organizations have protection from any interference and limits by the authorities on their activities and rules. He said the union movement’s demand is for the administrative decision, which he considered a “black rule” in the history of the authority and the ministry, be withdrawn, because unions and labor organizations are not considered departments of the manpower authority and members are not employees of the authority or the ministry to warrant such a decision. Arada said labor unions will act at all regional and international levels to defend “our gains and the working class”, adding that such interference was banned by all international treaties.

President of the Government Workers’ Union Bader Al-Azmi said the sit-in aims at striking out this malicious decision. He said the decision was issued by sectors “we do not belong to, and we reject it”, hoping HH the prime minister intervenes in this matter and cancels the decision.

Head of the Audit Bureau Workers’ Union Mamdouh Al-Enezi said they were against such interference by the authority in the work of labor unions, and had appealed to the Cabinet and the social affairs minister “to stop such oppressive decisions, but we did not get any response”. “We took the first procedural steps by staging the sit-in, then we will go to Arab and international organizations,” he warned.

Acting Director General of the manpower authority Ahmad Al-Mousa said the authority has never interfered and will not interfere in labor union work, adding that it did not do so out of its belief in complying with international standards. Mousa gave the press statement on the sidelines of the sit-in yesterday.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi

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