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Waad Highlights Bahraini Union Movement Challenges on Labour Day
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2013-05-01 14:57:34




 

 

National Democratic Action Society “Waad”, offers its sincerest congratulations to the Bahraini, Arab, and global working class in the occasion of International Labour Day. The first of May is a day where the free people, working class, and labourers exercise their human right to organize union marches, raising slogans and fair demands for workers.  

 

As the labour and union movement in Bahrain celebrate this glorious international day, they face multiple labour and union challenges that it has struggled to achieve, including:

 

First: Labour union and solidarity:

Labour union acts as a safety valve that strengthens workers in order to achieve their demands. Solidarity between workers and unions is the best way to achieve their rights and demands. This is especially true given the ferocity of globalization that imposes its unfair conditions on labourers via global financial and monetary institutions, the disrespect of labour laws in relation to labour relations and unions by many business owners, the decline of earnings and labour rights in the labour law and the inability of the Ministry of Labour to fulfil its responsibility to enforce laws related to unions, and the attempts to dismantle, fragment and weaken the union movement.  

 

Second: Organizing unions & bargaining:

The need continue applying pressure and insist on compelling the government  of Bahrain to ratify two international conventions (87 – 98) related to the Right to Organise Unions and Collective Bargaining.

 

Third: Fight against discrimination in the workforce:

Given that the Bahraini government ratified the international convention (111) related to Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, the Bahraini government should respect, execute, and enact laws that criminalize discrimination, and open the path for all government ministries to work with the citizens of this country without discrimination on grounds ofgender, sect, colour, or origin.

 

Forth: Union rights in the public sector:

The government of Bahrain continues to interpret laws related to the right to assemble unions based on its own interests, and refuses to allow for unions in the public sector. The government also harasses and threatens union representatives that practice their constitutional right and fight for the enforcement of international standards related to workers in the public sector through assembling unions.  

 

Fifth: Minimum Wage

The formation of a Higher Wages Council and implementing a minimum wage standard:  These two demands are imperative to protect labourers and employees and improve their income and living standards, especially given increased inflation and higher prices on one end, and the hints and reports that explicitly call to lift subsidies from essential goods and to succumb to the International Monetary Fund’s conditions on the other end.

In addition, studies have ensured that the povertyline in Bahrain should dictate the minimum wagebeing BD400 ($1061) within both the private and public sector. In addition, the economic and strategic visions that are guided by the Singaporean case study highlight the importance of a Higher Wages Council as a key driver to success, where the Council analysed the economic situation and productivity and increased wages periodically.

 

Sixth: The Socio-Economic Council

The formation of a socio-economic council with broad powers that include the participation of all productive parties and related civil societies and which aims to monitor and evaluate current legislation as well as to propose legislation that will protect workers, enhance their earnings, and achieve their rights. This council is important in order to achieve the demanded social justice and it should be present in all economic and development strategies.

 

Seventh: Social Insurance

The need for constant political pressure in order to ensure the implementation of laws regarding the consolidation of social insurance funds (public, private and military) and to enhance their benefits. Resistance will pressure the government to abide by the laws and to accelerate the achievement of this requirement.

 

Eighth: Social Dialogue

The promotion of social dialogue and collective bargaining between unions, the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, and government employees, especially since a large number of business owners have completely abandoned negotiations with unions and that the Ministry of Labour has failed to impose any sanctions on them that would have reinforced the need and respect for clear legal principles.

Ninth: Dismissed Workers & Unionists

The dismissal of workers and trade unionist has increased at an alarming rate after the Feb 14 uprising. Collective and arbitrary revenge-dismissals have been implemented on the basis of political belief and doctrine and there is still a multitude of workers, trade unionists, and heads of unions that have not been reinstated nor compensated. These people have had to endure increased harassment and intimidation and have even had committees formed to investigate and bombard them with litigations.

 

The labour and trade union movement, along with all the political and civil rights organizations that are believers of truth, justice, freedom, equality and real democracy, is calling on the government to respect these values of humanity and civilization and to consider their achievements essential for life and society.

 

Glory and immortality to the martyrs of the working class and martyrs of this nation.

Our sincere appreciation and admiration goes tothe loyal and productive hands that through the realization of their dreams, are helping the community achieve sustainable development. 

 

Bureau of Labour

 

National Democratic Action Society “Waad” 1 May 2013

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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