Kuwaiti construction workers win wages dispute

Week-long strike ends with workers paid wages due after three-month salary drought

Picture for illustrative purposes only.
Picture for illustrative purposes only.

A week-long sit-in protest at a hospital in Kuwait has ended after workers were paid three months’ worth of overdue salaries, Kuwait Times reported.

Hundreds of construction workers building a new public hospital in South Surra reportedly stopped work at the end of last week, accusing their employer of not paying wages for three months.

The newspaper did not name the employer but said workers had taken a risk by striking, an uncommon practice in the Gulf, where expats risk being deported.

“Most of our demands were met,” an Egyptian labourer, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying.

“If we don’t cry about it, perhaps we would still be waiting till now for the salary [and then] what will happen to our love ones? At least now we have it and everyone is happy and active.”

The 1168-bed hospital had been due to be completed by the end of 2014. Kuwait has not opened a new hospital in years despite overcrowding due to massive population growth.

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