By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: Around 300 workers of a company in Farwaniya governorate went on strike yesterday morning demanding their salaries, which they claimed they haven’t received for months. After the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) received a call from Farwaniya police station informing them about the strike, representatives from the labor relations department immediately went to the scene. The inspectors registered a report of the strike, its reasons and the workers’ demands.
Aseel Al-Mazyad, Official Spokesperson and PR and Media Manager at PAM, said the workers who went on strike claimed they haven’t been paid for more than three months. “The workers also claimed that they paid some financial amounts to renew their visas. PAM’s representatives listened to the laborers’ complaints, and we are currently working on resolving the matter by following legal and administrative procedures in cooperation with other related institutions,” Mazyad said.
Elsewhere, a large number of employees of the Ministry of Electricity and Water held a sit-in at the ministry diwan in response to a call from the ministry employees’ forum to demand payment of various allowances. Participants said most of them work in a dangerous environment and deserve to be appreciated. Member of the organizing committee Mohammad Al-Mashaan said ministry workers feel they are marginalized as ministry and union officials are ignoring their demands. He said they face danger at worksites but receive only KD 35 monthly in hazard allowance.
Meanwhile, organizing committee member Mahmoud Al-Misbah said Environment Public Authority reports confirm the existence of high levels of pollution at stations and various worksites. Engineer Nour Al-Salem said the protesters are demanding hazard, PC monitor and night shift allowances.
Coordination of the workers’ forum Hassan Al-Shimmari said the ministry is delaying approval of employees’ rights despite the immense efforts being exerted. He said despite Kuwait having the best standards of water production in the Arab world, their demands are being ignored. This comes while a group of social affairs ministry employees working at family care homes staged a protest at the ministries complex yesterday against a recent decision whereby they are asked to work on weekends in order to be paid overtime shift allowances.
The recent developments come at a time in which the government is searching for ways to curb spending and offset state’s budget deficit. In this regard, the finance ministry has reportedly written to ministries and their subsidiaries to review fees for services when preparing the 2022-2023 budget and increase them suitably.
The ministry asked for prioritizing construction projects and contracts and postpone unnecessary items among them, Al-Anbaa Arabic daily reported yesterday quoting sources. Every ministry and government entity were informed about the budget ceiling allocated for them because of current financial situation of the state. They must commit to the ceiling so that projects are not sent back. The ministry said Oct 14 is the deadline to submit budget proposals.
Acting Finance Ministry Undersecretary Aseel Al-Saad Al-Munaifi said ministries and authorities should send estimations of new appointees who will be needed, and estimate the indemnity amounts for non-Kuwaiti employees and include it in the budget drafts.