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Iranian bakers call off strike after agreement

KUWAIT: After five days of strikes at co-operative societies by Iranian bakers, they opened their doors yesterday for people to taste the Iranian bread. The strike came to an end after the union reached an understanding to continue subsidies for kerosene for Iranian bakeries in cooperative societies.

The employees of several Iranian bakeries in cooperative societies went on a strike last week protesting against the hike in the prices of kerosene after the government lifted subsidies. Ali Shah, one of the bakers told Friday Times that the union has come to an understanding to exempt Iranian bakeries in cooperative societies from the decision of waiver of subsidies on kerosene.

He explained that cooperative societies will be supplied with the kerosene required for operating these bakeries at the previous price of 55 fils per liter. (The government is now charging 170 fils a liter after the removal of subsidies). The fuel will be delivered by tanker companies certified by KNPC, indicating that the company will not deal with individual cooperative societies but with the union only.

Ali confirmed that the problem facing cooperative societies in most areas across the country regarding selling Iranian bread has been resolved. The managements of the cooperative societies have guaranteed diesel and kerosene subsidies for bakeries within their premises to encourage them to produce the same size piece of bread for 20 fils.

Meanwhile, many citizens also expressed concern over the way the government has mishandled the issue of subsidy removal, which has led to hikes in prices of essential commodities. They voiced concerns about the possibility of future strikes and also the rising costs of living. There is also concern of a growing black market in commodities that are subsidized or those that have been exempted from the subsidy removal.

By Faten Omar

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This article was published on 08/01/2015