Gov't urged to help end Kuwait's longest strike in history

Some public sector employees have stopped work for more than a month in protest over stalled pay hikes

The Kuwaiti government has been called on to intervene in the longest labour strike in the country’s history, a month after employees at the Public Institution for Social Security (PISS) stopped work.

The workers are angry at Finance Minister Anas Al Saleh’s decision to put on hold salary benefits agreed on between employees and management, Kuwait Times reported.

MP Hamdan Al Azmi used parliament on Tuesday to call on the government to intervene, warning other public sector workers may also strike if their demands were not met.

Al Saleh has refused to negotiate until the employees return to work.

Nearly 60 employees also have stormed the Undersecretary for Education Mariam Al Wutaid’s office after about 800 Kuwaiti women lost their jobs when the ministry decided to end contracts with food suppliers that provided lunch meals to elementary schools.

It was the women’s second sit-in after ministry officials refused to meet them during a previous protest.

Wutaid reportedly said the ministry was not responsible because the women were employed by private companies.

According to Kuwait Times, her refusal to assist led some of the workers to cry or lose their temper and attempt to force their way into Wutaid’s office, forcing the official to call police.

The employees want the ministry to find them other jobs in schools or transfer their contracts to the businesses that will supply schools from next year.

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