KUWAIT: Following threats and statements vowing that the government would never yield to oil sector pressure and demands made through threats to go on strike, it seems that oil unions have actually won the battle. The ministerial committee entrusted to negotiate under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah made an agreement with the Oil and Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation (OPIWC) and heads of oil unions to meet one of the most important demands made by those who went on strike - getting the annual raise according to the same regulations followed last year.

During a meeting that lasted till the very early hours of morning, both sides agreed to the 7.5 percent annual raise and offering retirees the option to choose between getting healthcare at KOC hospital or having private health insurance. Though the committee also agreed to set the annual raise at 5 percent for new recruits, OPIWC said that the remaining demands were still being considered by the committee and that they would be discussed in a further meeting. Notably, OPIWC's demands include the continuation of providing workers with vehicles and maintaining the same airfare rates. - Al-Jarida