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Mon 11 Nov 2019 02:49 PM

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Workers strike at Kuwait airport for better working conditions

The right to strike is guaranteed for citizens in Kuwait, but such actions remain rare in the Gulf country

Workers strike at Kuwait airport for better working conditions

Of 4,500 civil aviation employees, 1,500 took part in Monday's strike.

Hundreds of workers at Kuwait's international airport held a one-hour strike Monday to demand better working conditions, threatening to stage longer walkouts in the coming days.

Ahmed Mohammed al-Kandari, a union representative, said workers were calling for improved treatment and to be compensated for daily exposure to pollution and noise.

Monday's strike by Kuwaiti staff did not affect flights, officials said.

The right to strike is guaranteed for citizens in Kuwait, but such actions remain rare in the Gulf country.

Foreign workers do not have the right to strike. 

"Airport traffic is very normal," Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah, head of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, told AFP.

Another official, Saleh Al-Fadaghi, the airport's director of operations, also said flights were not affected.

"During the one-hour strike, 19 flights were operated as scheduled. There were five departures and 14 arrivals," he told AFP.

Kandari said the purpose of the strike was not to disrupt operations but "to make our voices heard".

He added that Kuwaiti workers would hold a further two-hour strike on Wednesday and a 24-hour strike on Sunday if their demands are not met.

Of 4,500 civil aviation employees, 1,500 took part in Monday's strike, he said.

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