KUWAIT CITY, March 20: Verbal altercation among members of Kuwait Trade Unions Federation gradually escalated to fisticuffs at the 17th General Convention of the Federation held inside the Petroleum and Petrochemical Workers Union Hall in Ahmadi area Monday evening. The meeting initially scheduled for 4:00pm delayed for another one hour due to lack of quorum, and the union leaders gathered in front of the venue with serious agitation when one of the organizers requested them to show ID cards for identification and signature before entry. Some of them disregarded the request saying their signatures would be used against them whenever decisions they’re opposed to were taken.
Several unionists objected to the procedures claiming there was no clear list for entry and the organizers had no right to organize the convention. Immediately after those opposed to the meeting entered, they announced the convention had been postponed until April 4 amidst serious disagreement and discordant voices.
The venue was not calm until the hall was evacuated for Maghrib prayer. The opposition suddenly withdrew from election of the executive committee. In his comment, chairman of the Public Sector Workers Union Amer Al-Bases said the convention violated rules and regulations. He complained about allowing some members into the hall while preventing others, lack of quorum, and many other violations.
According to the Secretary General of Public Sector Workers Union Marzouq Abdullah, some people allowed into the hall were not members of the federation. He noted only four trade unions were allowed inside the hall, while ID cards were printed for some people, with incomplete names. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Ministry of Social Affairs Workers Union Salem Shebib Al-Ajmi said the incident was a mess, and an effort to frustrate the elections. He observed the police did not play the anticipated role, which led to the skirmishes among some members. He added the convention continued later to elect the council and approved membership. He reaffirmed results of the election would be announced afterward.
By Fares Al-Abdan Al-Seyassah Staff