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50-year-old Kuwait labor union embodies keenness on collective work.

By Mohammad Al-Thaydi

KUWAIT, Nov 29 (KUNA) -- The labor movement in Kuwait has played a significant role at level of national action since 50 years ago when the first workers union was established, thus materializing Kuwait's keenness on collective work. Since 1964, only three years after Kuwait gained independence, the national labor movement had developed, with establishment of unions for workers serving in the municipal, medical and fire-fighting sectors. Following proclamation of five labor unions in the public sector in 1964, these federations formed a broad union that eventually developed into the National Union for Kuwait Workers and Employees, in April 1965. Founders had embarked on drafting by-laws and preparing for holding the first general assembly, during which the first executive board was elected and declared on 4/4/1965. It was chaired by Hussein Al-Sager. Within a short of period of time, up to nine unions of various departments became under its umbrella. In an exclusive interview with KUNA, Al-Sager said "the labor movement in the beginning was actually a national, rather than purely labor, movement, echoing demands of the Kuwaiti people for democracy, freedom of expression and equality." He criticized current unions, charging that they are being slack and complacent, urging the federations to play a more active and greater role at the local, Arab and international levels. Fayez Ali Al-Mutairi, Chairman of Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF), echoed views of the vanguard of the national labor movement, Al-Sager, that it had played a major national role, being an ardent defender of Kuwaiti causes during hard times. The Kuwaiti labor movement, since its launch 50 years ago, has maintained its "full independence," unbiased stance, while advocating, primarily, rights and interests of the working class. Youth are forecast to play a major role under umbrella of the labor movement, in tandem with social, economic and technological development, he added, saluting veteran labor activists and leaders who had exerted strenuous efforts to develop it. Meanwhile, Adel Al-Hejeb, Chairman of the Kuwait Oil Workers Union, lauded the national movement, noting its role, over the past 10 years, with respect of adopting women causes. The KTUF has played an effective and fruitful role in attaining workers' rights, concerning, in part, work hours and staff training. (end) mz.tb.rk

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:7KUWA
Date:Nov 29, 2014
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