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Kuwait Ports Authority’s syndicate suspends sit-in

Monday, 21 December 2015 | 17:00

Upon promises by Director Sheikh Yousif Al-Abdullah to take their demands into full consideration, the employees’ syndicate at the Kuwait Ports Authority suspended a sit-in that had been scheduled for yesterday. Syndicate Chairman Captain Abdullah Al-Serhaid announced suspending the sit-in until further notice in a press conference held at the Ports Authority headquarters, where he stressed that the authority’s board of directors had authorized Sheikh Yousif to meet the demands of port approach guides who had been on partial strike since last Thursday. Serhaid explained that the demands made included allowances that had been suspended since 2010 in addition to danger, sailing, achievement and job nature allowances.

Not affected
Further, Serhaid said that the partial strike had not affected marine traffic and that ships at Shuaiba and Shuwaikh ports were not delayed. He also expressed willingness to cooperate with foreign port approach guides the ports authority hired to support their Kuwaiti colleagues.

On his part, the chairman of Kuwait Municipality employees’ syndicate and the Arab Union for Municipality Employees Syndicates Mohammed Al-Arada stressed that people were the most important elements of production and that workers’ demands had to be met in order to develop production and reward them. He also slammed any legal measures or threats made against laborers demanding their due rights, according to ILO laws since 1948.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Yousif Al-Abdullah stressed that port approach guides were assured that their demands were being taken into full consideration, but stressed that a decision on some of the demands depended on other bodies like the finance ministry and CSC. He also noted that any rebellion was worthless and would not achieve any demands. He also condemned threats to suspend work at various ports and stressed that the authority will not be intimidated. He also noted that an emergency team was immediately formed to facilitate work at various ports.

Sheikh Yousif added that the authority received various calls from GCC ports directors expressing criticism of the strike and offering help in providing Kuwait with 170 port approach guides from various GCC and Arab countries, although Kuwaiti ports only need 30. He added that KOC also offered providing the authority with 25 guides within 24 hours. “We have already received seven guides from Abu Dhabi,” he underlined, thanking the syndicate for suspending its strike and realizing that demands could not be achieved by strikes.

Full support
In a statement carried by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) yesterday, the Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) declared full support of the legitimate rights of its employees, as it stressed commitment to the smooth workflow of ports and that it would hold accountable those who would undermine the country’s interests. The statement was made in response to reports alleging that the KPA did not respond to employee demands.

The KPA carries out its responsibilities in the most able manner according to legal procedures, it underlined. This stems from its responsibilities as a government body that is run according to an organized set of rules that seek to offer an appropriate working environment to its employees, the statement went on to explain.

The KPA “will not hesitate to carry out the necessary on endorsing any employee-related demands, including incentives and the shift from the grade system to contracts.” In recent years the authority has keenly worked to respond to employee demands in relation to merits for incentives, through reporting these demands to relevant bodies – namely the Finance Ministry and the Civil Service Commission – in the belief of its commitment to the legitimacy of these demands, said the statement.
Source: Kuwait Times

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