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Monday, March 22, 2010    

Major layoffs in Kuwait as U.S. withdrawal nears

ABU DHABI — A leading Gulf defense firm, reflecting the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, has launched massive layoffs.   

Kuwait's Agility has fired up to 600 employees in March 2010 as part of what executives termed a major staff restructuring, Middle East Newsline reported.

They said the layoffs stemmed from the suspension of U.S. military contracts amid the withdrawal from Iraq and indictment of the company on charges of fraud.

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The Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas reported that Agility plans to dismiss thousands of employees in 2010. The newspaper quoted a senior executive as citing a slowdown in new contracts amid the global economic crisis.

Until 2010, Agility had been administering more than $10 billion in logistics contracts for the U.S. military in the Gulf and other regions.

But the company's U.S. subsidiary has been indicted for overcharging the American military in what resulted in a suspension of contracts.

Industry sources said Agility has also been hurt by the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The sources said the withdrawal has been operating smoothly through the military and did not require as much logistics services as had been envisioned.

Agility has not responded to the Al Qabas report.

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