The Solidarity Center supports Kuwaiti unions’ active role in cross-regional GCC collaborations, as well as capacity building programs for KTUF affiliates in the civil service and oil sectors.
Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional economic and trade alliance founded in 1981.The Kuwaiti labor movement is represented by the Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF). Established in the 1960s, the KTUF is composed of nine affiliated public sector unions and six oil sector unions. As Kuwait moves toward economic reform and restructuring, trade unions are confronting the possibility of fundamental change to job security in the public sector. In 2008, the total membership of the KTUF and its affiliates in the civil service and oil sector was at about 35,000.
The KTUF is an important actor at the national policy level, maintaining a vigorous presence in deliberations on proposed labor law reform, economic restructuring, and trade union rights and freedoms. The KTUF has also taken a leading role in building worker solidarity across the GCC. Restricted freedom of association, gender- and nationality-based discrimination, and inadequate legal protections are cross-regional challenges affecting each of the GCC States. Recognizing this, GCC trade unionists are collaborating to advance cross-regional solutions. In 2008, the KTUF hosted a historic foundational meeting of the Workers Council for the GCC and Yemen, gathering representatives of trade unions and worker organizations from Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.
Kuwait and Bahrain Unions Become First in the Gulf to Forge an Official Trade Union Relationship with Nepal.
January 20, 2012—Gulf States are relying on as many as 15 million migrant workers from Asia to grow their economies. As the economies of Kuwait and Bahrain thrive on migrant labor, Nepal’s largest employer is the Gulf States, where families depend on making money overseas.
Kuwait: More Government Attacks on Worker Rights.
January 5, 2012—The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has criticized that latest attack by the government of Kuwait against the rights of its own employees, following a statement by Justice Minister Ahmed Al Mulaifi that strikes are prohibited and that international conventions that guarantee worker rights are not applicable to him.
Kuwait: ITUC Condemns Military Threat to Striking Workers.
October 18, 2011—The international trade union movement has condemned today’s threat by the Kuwaiti authorities to use the army and police to stop public-sector strikes in the country as public anger grows at the government’s failure to respect worker rights and at its inaction on corruption. Yesterday, Kuwait’s foreign minister tendered his resignation, and at least one other minister is believed to be considering resigning as well.
Kuwaiti Unions Advocate for Migrant Worker Rights.
During the 10 years Muhnadiramla Athula was a housemaid for a family in Kuwait, far from her native South Asian village, she never received a dinar for her labor. Although she finally managed to escape and seek refuge at her embassy, she can’t go home because her employer will not give up her passport.
Kuwaiti and U.S. Union Leaders Strategize on Common Challenges.
In May 2008, a four-member U.S. labor delegation traveled to Kuwait on a Solidarity Center exchange visit to learn more about the challenges of being a union leader in an environment where migrant workers outnumber Kuwaiti nationals two to one, union officers are volunteers with full-time outside jobs, and unions are not sufficiently involved in economic policy decisions.
Solidarity Center Provides Worker Perspective at GCC Leadership Summit.
Solidarity Center and AFL-CIO senior staff spoke to more than 50 policymakers, government officials, HR directors, senior managers and consultants, developers, suppliers, bankers, and global union leaders at a groundbreaking leadership summit on corporate social responsibility in the Gulf Coopeartion Council construction industry, held June 18, 2008 in Dubai, UAE.
Hope for Migrant Workers in Gulf States.
The Solidarity Center is part of an effort that brings together union, employer, and government representatives to improve working conditions for migrants in the Gulf States.
Solidarity Center Organizes Groundbreaking Migrant Worker Rights Panel at ILO Meeting.
A groundbreaking panel discussion on migrant worker issues, co-hosted by the Solidarity Center and the International Trade Union Confederation on June 13, 2007, during the International Labor Conference in Geneva, drew a standing-room-only crowd.