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MEW technical works threaten strike over unpaid salaries

KUWAIT: Technical workers at power stations and Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) facilities threatened to strike unless their companies pay their back salaries for several months. A large number of these workers staged a sit-in in front of the MEW undersecretary’s office Tuesday and demanded payment of their salaries, otherwise they would strike. The workers belong to several companies that are carrying out MEW projects through contracts.

The contracts include technical work at power stations, digging, wiring, work at transformers and handling cables, which means MEW will face a big problem that may lead to interrupting power to many areas and work will stop in many areas if the strike is carried out.

The workers said communications with their companies continue over salary payment, but there has been no response so far. They said they are going through difficult times and cannot meet their commitments and have not sent any money to their families back home. Social Affairs and Labor Ministry sources said there are plans to cancel umrah and entertainment services presented by co-ops to shareholders. The sources said the ministry plans to issue this decision after completing the study of the social services item, which costs more than KD 11.4 million per year.

Grave violations were discovered, especially in umrah and entertainment, which made up 25 percent of the total services. They said the cost of umrah trips and chalet hires during 2015 reached KD 3.6 million, from which 14,251 shareholders benefited out of nearly 503,000 – 2.8 percent of total shareholders – which is a small percentage that does not do justice among shareholders.

By A Saleh

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