Sandstorm adds to woes of strike-hit Kuwaitis

March 21, 2012

Kuwaitis on Monday were trapped on two fronts as Kuwait Airways cancelled flights for the third day in a row and a huge sandstorm forced residents to stay indoors.

Ailing Kuwait Airways has a fleet of 17 aircraft that fly mainly to destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. According to Kuwaiti reports, losses incurred by the company were in millions of dollars. The industrial action by the airline compounds a terrible situation for Kuwaitis, who are usually pampered by cradle-to-grave state-provided benefits, after a strike by customs officials who refused to resume work until they received better remuneration and greater benefits entered its sixth consecutive day.

Kuwaitis reported that the customs strike had “badly impacted” the country after goods were barred from entering Kuwait, causing the prices of some commodities to shoot up.

Writing in Kuwait Times, Badriya Darwish in a column “No milk, no salad and no flights — but lots of sand,” said that the current situation in Kuwait was hilarious. “It is unprecedented that everything is closed and we are all trapped,” she said.

On Sunday evening, the cabinet rejected the demands put forth by the workers at the Kuwait Airways Corporation and the Customs Department, announcing that it would not “condone any action that can be detrimental to the interests of the state and its citizens.” The crisis comes amid an ongoing clash between the government and an Islamist-led parliament.

According to Al Watan, MPs from the majority are pushing to remove Mustafa Al Shamali, the Finance Minister, from his position.



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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