KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Planning and Development Hind Al-Subaih vowed that no illegal action would be taken against a strike by Kuwaiti oil workers that entered its third day yesterday. She told a news conference that an ad hoc committee comprising legal teams from the Cabinet, the Fatwa and Legislation Department and the Public Authority for Manpower would not take any decision unless it is “absolutely legal”. The minister added that Kuwait has signed international conventions pertinent to trade unions, but it had voiced reservations over the right to strike.
But a spokesman for thousands of striking Kuwaiti oil and gas workers said yesterday that their strike would continue until planned public sector pay reforms are cancelled. “The strike is ongoing until the implementation of the demands of the workers,” Farhan Al-Ajmi, head of the Petrochemicals Industries Company workers union, told a press conference. “A decision to cancel (the strike) is linked to the abolition of decisions issued by the Petroleum Corporation,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the oil sector’s spokesman Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled announced that Kuwaiti oil facilities’ average daily production has surged to 1.5 million barrels. Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is racing against time to resume operation of oil collection centers No. 21 and 24 to fully resume the state’s oil and gas production, Sheikh Talal said in a press statement. He assured that Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s marketing sector has also been able to fulfill its export commitments without any delay or rescheduling of loading times. Sheikh Talal added that operations at the Petrochemical Industries Company and Kuwait Oil Tanker Company are proceeding normally.
Sheikh Talal also said the shutdown of gas station BS 150 was a normal precautionary measure, pointing to the operation of stations BS 140 and BS 160 instead. The spokesman added that efforts were being exerted in order to resume normal levels of production and operation at all oil facilities, noting an increase in production rates following the operation of gas collection centers 11, 12 and 24.
“Production and export operations are going on normally, and traffic of tankers at KNPC ports is going as planned as per the contingency plan,” Sheikh Talal said. KPC’s international marketing sector is in touch with clients in order to fulfill the needs of world markets, he pointed out. He spoke highly of “friendly” oil companies that provided KPC with a group of efficient technicians and workers with a view to boost oil production in the country. – Agencies