Workers at oil, gas and petrochemical companies in Kuwait say they will go on strike from Sunday 17 April in protest over government plans to cut benefits and wages.

“The union finds itself obliged to take the difficult decision to escalate with this announcement of a general strike in all sectors (of oil and gas) starting on Sunday, April 17 at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT),” said Saif al-Qahtani, head of the Oil and Petrochemical Industries Workers Confederation, reports Reuters, adding that it is not known how long the strike will last.

National oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KNPC) says production and exports will not be affected by the strike.

The other companies that will be affected by the proposed strike are

  • Kuwait Oil Company,
  • Kuwait Oil Tanker company,
  • Equate Petrochemical Industries Company and
  • Kuwait Gulf Oil Company.