Kuwaiti oil workers end three-day strike

Industrial action that halved Kuwaiti output is over, according to union statement

(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of oil workers in Kuwait who have been on strike for three days will return to work on Wednesday morning.

State news agency KUNA quoted a statement from the Oil and Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation which said the strike had been “overwhelmingly successful,” proving its ability to affect the production process.

Thousands of Kuwaiti oil workers downed tools for a third day on Tuesday to protest against planned public sector pay reform, cutting crude output to 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), according to an oil spokesman cited by KUNA.

That is little more than half of Kuwait's average output of 2.8 million bpd in March. The move had sent oil prices higher, overshadowing the breakdown in talks between producers on Sunday aimed at freezing production.

Kuwaiti oil workers fear reduced salaries, benefits and staff layoffs will be part of a planned government overhaul of the payroll system in the public sector.

The KUNA statement said the workers would resume work “in appreciation of His Highness the Amir and out of love and loyalty to His Highness”. The union also said that striking workers would not be punished.

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