Oil workers in Kuwait have gone on strike to protest proposed government cutbacks as the OPEC nation grapples with a prolonged slump in crude prices.

Thousands of workers gathered at the start of the local workweek Sunday in the town of Ahmadi, where the state-run Kuwait Oil Company has its headquarters.

Oil worker unions approved the strike last week after failing to reach common ground with Kuwait's Oil Ministry.

The strike comes as representatives of major oil producing nations gather in nearby Qatar to discuss plans to freeze oil output in an attempt to shore up prices. The drop from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to around $40 now is straining budgets of large producers such as Kuwait.