KuwaitOther News

Workers say market stable but warn labor shortage could cause crisis, price hikes

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Last week, some MPs proposed setting a quota for people of each nationality residing in Kuwait to lessen the number of expats from some nationalities with huge numbers to improve the demographics of the country. This proposal included a plan for decreasing the numbers of large communities within two or three years, starting with reducing the number of marginal workers, especially those who do not work for their actual sponsors, mentioning plumbers, electricians and other technicians working individually.

Kuwait Times interviewed workers from different professions working individually or in companies to learn more about the impact of such a decision on the marketplace. Waleed, a self-employed plumber and decor repairman, believes the present number of laborers is suitable for the Kuwait market. “There is a huge number of self-employed plumbers in Kuwait, and if they leave the country, this will cause a crisis. The remaining plumbers will definitely hike their prices. Customers will also have to wait for longer periods due to the shortage in the market,” he told Kuwait Times.

Painter Abu Yasser, who is also self-employed, agrees that if a large number of painters leave the country, it will place great pressure on the remaining painters. “I work daily from morning till evening, and although it’s summer, I still have a lot of work. If all of us painters leave, then the customer will be the first to be affected by this decision,” he noted.

Hossam, an employee at a company repairing air conditioners, said their company won’t change the prices for their services. “We respect the pricelist of the company and are not planning any increase. If self-employed AC technicians leave the country and we receive more work, then our company will recruit workers from abroad. During summer, which is the high season for AC repair, we have a lot of work, and if self-employed technicians leave the country, the market will face a crisis,” he said.

Mohammed, a self-employed repairer of washing machines, refrigerators, freezers and ovens, noted that during the past week, his work has been slow, but usually he is busy. “I don’t think there is an excess of technicians working in my field in Kuwait. I’m sure if all self-employed technicians leave, companies will raise the prices of their services due to the increased demand,” he said.

Ahmad, an employee at a pest control company, stressed the present number of workers in this field in Kuwait matches the demand. “If a great shortage occurs in the market, we will increase the prices of our services due to the pressure on our staff. We are currently doing the work demanded in the market, so I believe if all technicians leave, a huge shortage will occur,” he pointed out.

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