A possible pay dispute is brewing within Kuwait’s strategic oil sector, with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) executives planning a freeze on salaries and the cancellation of economic incentives, bonuses and privileges and energy sector staff staunchly rejecting such ‘rationalization’ efforts.
Energy industry sources said that oil sector employee syndicates have refused initiatives that would jeopardize oil sector employees’ privileges and rights that had been guaranteed by the law and treaties stipulated in KPC’s subsidiary companies’ charts.
Notably, KPC’s executive administration had warned oil sector employees over the previous three days that the situation would be difficult if the rationalization initiatives, which cover both citizens and expat employees, were rejected and stressed that things were heading towards applying the payroll strategic alternative on both current and future employees.
The government and parliament are currently working on a project to overhaul the payroll system in the public sector. The ‘payroll strategic alternative’ would set unified standards for employees’ promotions, salaries, bonuses, indemnities and other rights and privileges at all ministries and state departments. Debate is still ongoing on wither to include the oil sector under the new system’s coverage. It is not clear exactly how the ‘payroll strategic alternative’ would impact salaries.