KUWAIT: Hours after airport employees revealed plans to stage a strike in protest of ‘unpaid allowances,’ Director of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Yousif Al-Fauzan announced yesterday unifying the allowances of some staff members working shifts at Kuwait International Airport departments. Fauzan said the Civil Service Commission (CSC) issued a resolution on Thursday explaining that shifts would be of eight hours each and every air traffic control staff member will work morning, afternoon and evening shifts on three consecutive days, followed by two days off.

Fauzan added airport staff will work the same eight hours for three consecutive days followed by one day off instead of the old system of working a full 24 hours followed by 48 hours off. Earlier yesterday, DGCA employees’ syndicate stressed that it will proceed with plans to go on strike tomorrow. The syndicate’s chairman Jaber Al-Azmi said the CSC only approved allowances for air traffic control staff and that the syndicate insists on unified allowances for all staff members working shifts. However, the union did not release a statement after Fauzan’s announcement, or comment whether they still plan to stage their strike or not.

Students’ allowances

Secretary general of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students in the United States of America (NUKS USA) Ali Al-Ghanem said the Ministry of Higher Education agreed to increase scholarship students’ allowances and contacted the finance ministry in this regard. Similarly, Ghanem’s counterpart in the United Kingdom, Nayef Al-Alatti, announced the same for students studying in the UK.

Separately, Education Minister Hamed Al-Azmi ordered an immediate investigation over a social media video showing a teacher allegedly assaulting a student, and strongly rejected any leniency towards such violations. Additionally, the ministry emphasized in a post on its official Twitter account its total rejection of assaulting students at any educational facility.

Expats’ contracts

Responding to parliamentary complaints, the Public Authority for Manpower stressed that it operates according to law number 6/2010 and its amendments pertaining business owners and the assessment of their needs. The manpower authority also stressed that it fully abides by the CSC resolution concerning replacing expats with citizens in government jobs, adding that contracts of hundreds of expats had been terminated this year.

Cultural center

The Farwaniya committee at the Municipal Council is due to discuss a number of topics in this week’s agenda, including building a cultural and educational center for the Bohra community in Ardiya and a parking lot in Omariya.

Housing issue

MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei said that his grilling motion against the minister of public works was the fruit of hard work by a large group of citizens over a common major concern in their lives – housing. Tabtabaei added that citizens have to wait four or five years to get a house. “The real achievement is to give citizens their house keys instead of the deeds,” he stressed, pointing out that citizens are currently paying KD 700 in monthly rent, which overburdens Kuwaiti families.

By A Saleh