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Mon 19 Mar 2012 10:47 AM

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Kuwait confirms new pay deals as strikes continue

Civil Service Commission mandates new pay scales for Kuwaiti nationals

Kuwait confirms new pay deals as strikes continue
State carrier Kuwait Airways has been impacted heavily by worker strikes. (AFP/Getty Images)

As strikes in Kuwait continue, the country’s Civil Service Commission (CSC) has confirmed that nationals working in both the public and private sector will receive a 25 percent increase in their salaries.

The minimum increase in salary will be KD50 (US$179) a month, according to a statement released by the commission on Sunday. Expatriates working in the public sector will also receive a KD50 pay rise.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti retirees will see their pensions rise by 12.5 percent.

State news agency KUNA said that the CSC had also decided to increase allowances for shift, night shift and food by “three times as many as the present sum”.

The move comes amid a wave of actual and threatened strikes by unions, which have resulted in the cancellation of several flights by state carrier Kuwait Airways and a walk-out by customs officials.

The unions are unlikely to be placated with the government’s proposals. Speaking to Kuwaiti media, National Union of Kuwait Workers and Employees official Ajmi Al Mutalaqim said that the salary increments were unsatisfactory and that retirees needed at least a 30 percent increase in their pensions.

The decision follows recent moves by other Gulf states to push up civil servants’ salaries.

In September last year, Qatar ordered that all nationals working in the public sector should receive a 60 percent increase in their salaries, while officers in the country’s military saw hikes of 120 percent.

In the first quarter of 2011, Saudi Arabia handed out two-month salary bonuses to all public sector employees, a move that was largely replicated by the private sector.

In the UAE, federal government employees have received pay rises of between 35 and 45 percent, effective from January this year.  

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

Ahmed 8 years ago

Provide them their pay raises then put the carrier up for privatisation immediately. This is not the most alarming strike in this nation, it was the customs strike that has paralized a nation that is heavily dependent on it's food source through importation. The market took no time to exploit the public by increasing the prices of food commodities immediately as the public became a hostage by the striker's demands. What is so alarming was that there was no back-up plan with the customs matter. They knew that they were going on strike and should have had an emergency team in place to handle the ports. The multitude of strikes in this nation is highlighting the widespread government incompetence in this nation.

Hasan 8 years ago

Its about time that GCC citizens enjoy the wealth of their countries.
Expatriates also should enjoy a reasonable pay rise as they haven't got such one for years now.

Mohammed 8 years ago

As the shelves lay bare in the supermarkets in Kuwait and the airport is overrun with chaos as passengers struggle to find alternatives to their Kuwait Airways tickets, the government continues to struggle to band-aid the situation, as strikers hold firm to their demands, leaving the public to lament with another day in this purportedly oil rich nation. As Ahmed states, there appeared to be no backup plan to control the ports in a nation that is heavily dependent on imported goods. Where's the Army? There has been no formal dialogue with the people to inform them on the status of the situation, nor to assure the public that they are working on the matter from the highest echelons of this government. Don't the people deserve to be spoken to

procan 8 years ago

This cannot be true?

Trevor M 8 years ago

What is being joked about on blog websites in Kuwait is that one of demands was that they wanted new Ipads. Yes, Ipads. So procan what Mohammed stated above is true, the country was thrust into chaos mode more quickly than you would even imagine with a domino effect of strikes that spiralled the country by the Kuwait Airways staff, Customs staff, Teachers with PHD's which was a joke, you would think they would have more sense, and the the Ministry of Interior staff which seemed to have been thwarted and that would have involved national security. In most Western countries like Canada, we would have used the Army to secure the borders rather than leave them vulnerable especially with a country that is highly dependent on imported goods where truck loads of food was left rotting at the border. It appears also to have set a precedence with future strikes. It may not be over.