MPs to file request for special session

March 21, 2012

Under Kuwait’s law and constitution, strikes are not considered an approved means of expressing opinions and all government institutions must take the necessary measures to ensure a smooth workflow and avert any potential harm, the cabinet said.

In the cabinet statement, published in the Kuwaiti media, divergent views and differences on wage increases cannot be addressed by imposing a status quo and strike threats.

Request to be filed

Kuwaiti deputy Osama Al Menawer, the official spokesperson for the MPs forming the majority in the parliament elected on February 2, said that they would file a request for a special session to be held Thursday to debate demands for pay increments following the Cabinet’s decision to endorse the Civil Service Commission’s report without changes.

He added that the group was monitoring the strikes in Kuwait, blaming it on flawed policies that created discrepancies among citizens of similar specializations and qualifications.


According to him, the strikes were a result of the failure to keep promises to syndicates, particularly Kuwait Airways and Customs Department.

Analyst Abdullah Al Shayji said that the strikes “have become a drain on all Kuwaitis.” “The labour unions were promised salary hikes, like what employees got in the oil sector,” he said.

“However, the situation has escalated and gone overboard with the customs union halting imports. Yet the government seemed to be unfettered and did not blink in this drama,” he said.

Although workers are legally permitted to join unions, less than 5% of the labour force is unionised. There is only one trade union federation allowed by law and the right to strike is limited.

Strikes are increasing despite being only allowed in the private sector, which is not organised, is very small and is mostly composed of foreigners.

In the event of a collective dispute, a dispute resolution procedure must be exhausted before lawful strike action can be taken. There is, however, no protection for strikers against retribution by the state. The courts can dissolve any union that violates the labour laws or that threatens public order and morality.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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