File photo shows an oil facility in Kuwait.
Kuwait has deployed National Guard troops to operate and protect several oil facilities as oil workers announce an open-ended strike, says a report.
daily reported on Wednesday that guards will be sent to oil facilities in the Persian Gulf
state’s southern regions after Kuwait’s oil workers’ union announced the action over a government proposal for pay cuts and plans to privatize parts of the sector.
The global decline in crude oil prices has forced Kuwait to introduce a new payroll system, including cuts in salary and benefits, for all public employees, including the state’s 20,000 oil workers.
The decision was made after negotiations with acting Oil Minister Anas al-Saleh broke down. According to a union spokesman, the strikes will encompass all oil facilities across the country.
“We are faced with a strike that could paralyze the country and may result in huge losses,” Kuwaiti MP Mohammad Tana was quoted by AFP as saying.
The report states that such measures could reduce the country’s output of three million barrels per day to as low as 500,000 but would not affect exports and domestic sales as the shortage will be covered by strategic stocks.