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Hiring expats in Oil sans aptitude test ‘dangerous precedent’

Bakheet Al- Rasheedi

KUWAIT CITY, July 7: The Labor Union at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) condemned the statement issued by Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Bakheet Al-Rasheedi about recruiting expatriates in the oil sector without taking an aptitude test, while Kuwaitis are required to take aptitude tests which include the English language test, reports Al-Anba daily.

Member of the union Abbas Awadh pointed out the recruitment of expatriates without taking an aptitude test is considered a “dangerous precedent” and disaster which shows deterioration of the situation in the oil sector in terms of dismissal of national manpower as a preliminary step towards privatization in a sector that is regarded as the vein of national revenues.

“The oil sector was built by the hands of its children until it reached its current status. This was made possible through the efforts exerted by Kuwaiti youths. We will never allow a day to come when expatriates are recruited without taking an aptitude test while doors are shut on the face of Kuwaitis who are considered the real resources of this nation”, Awadh indicated. He said all the labor unions in the oil sector will take a unified stance to block such policies which, in the past, led to the biggest strike in the history of the country. The privatization of the oil sector remains unpopular, let alone excluding national manpower from the recruitment process while expatriates are being hired, he asserted.

Awadh lamented it is unfortunate that the oil sector implements policies which differ from the policies of the State that strives to replace expatriates with Kuwaitis in majority of jobs in the government sector. “In the oil sector, there is no indication of such replacement or ‘Kuwaitization’.

Unfortunately, the sector is opening its doors for the recruitment of expatriates even without taking an aptitude test,” he added. He denounced the oil sector’s policy and unfairness in obliging citizens to take aptitude and language tests as requirements for recruitment. He then called for “equality between citizens and expatriates” in this regard.

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