KUWAIT: Oil workers on strike attend a press conference organized by workers’ union in Ahmadi yesterday.
KUWAIT: Oil workers on strike attend a press conference organized by workers’ union in Ahmadi yesterday.

KUWAIT: Chairman of the parliaments priorities committee in the parliament MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah reiterated workers’ right to stage labor strikes, provided that they are held within the limits of laws and regulations. “If such strikes cause damage to public funds and the state’s greater good, things will need to be reconsidered,” he added. “Oil is Kuwait’s lifeblood and only source of national income, and its production cannot be halted, delayed or used as a threat,” he explained, noting that such acts were incriminated by law, especially when initial reports assess the losses in the hundreds of millions. He also noted things seem very ‘foggy’ because news about the strike through social media networks lack credibility. “We must have an official body responsible for posting genuine news through social media networks to prevent the circulation of false ones,” he demanded, urging the government to solve the strike problem wisely.

Production rates
The production rates of the three refineries of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) are compatible with the contingency plan, Oil Sector’s Spokesman Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said, reassuring that local supplies of petrol and derivatives are completely provided.

There are positive developments in the management of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) subsidiaries’ operations on the second day of the oil workers’ strike Sheikh Talal said in a press release yesterday. He added that the increase in oil and gas production is enough for reaching normal rates gradually.

Sheikh Talal said the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has re-operated two production facilities in north and south Kuwait, thus boosting crude and gas production rates. He added that the outcomes of the contingency plan carried out by the KPC to address the workers’ strike is greatly working out, speaking highly of the practical steps taken by the KPC’s international marketing sector. Production rates at Al-Shuaiba and Umm Al-Aish factories of the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) are very normal, he said, pointing to full commitment to meeting people’s gas needs.

The KPC’s response blueprint, mainly exchanging inter-company experts and workers, and using the help of technicians and workers from the Ministry of Electricity and Water has largely contributed to containing the strike-bearing crisis, he remarked. KPC subsidiaries are working fervently to honor the country’s oil commitments and to safeguard its reputation both at home and abroad, the oil sector’s spokesman said.

Sheikh Talal thanked all volunteers who are playing a great role in overcoming the current crisis in an initiative that reflects a great sense of responsibility and patriotism. Oil sector laborers started Sunday a strike in protest against proposed austerity measures on the background of the sharp drop in oil prices.

Electricity fees
Commenting on the new electricity prices, Zalzalah told his diwaniya visitors Sunday that what MPs agreed on concerning the exemption of private residences from the new prices was fair for citizens. He added that recommendations had been made to the government that considering any electricity price increases for private residences would not be done in the future until smart meters were installed. However, Zalzalah remarked that the government still needs to organize huge awareness campaigns to urge citizens to cut down water and electricity consumption.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi and agencies