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Wednesday, October 12, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Labor dispute disrupts Kuwaiti oil exports

ABU DHABI — Kuwait's massive oil sector has been hurt by a labor strike.


Officials said thousands of civil servants and others have walked off the job in what has disrupted the sheikdom's energy industry. They said the strike, which erupted despite a government offer of huge pay raises, has suspended shipping traffic, including oil exports.

"We are ready to bring in laborers from inside or outside Kuwait to conduct work in an appropriate manner," Kuwait State Minister Ali Al Rashed said.

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The labor unrest began in late September amid demands by civil servants for higher pay and increased benefits.

On Oct. 11, more than 3,000 customs officers walked off their jobs, halting traffic in oil terminals and ports. In contrast, state oil employees, who also threatened a walkout, have been given pay increases of up to 66 percent.

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