Hundreds join labour march in Bahrain
Manama, May 2, 2013
Hundreds of people took part in a Labour Day rally in Bahrain, highlighting the issues of sacked airline staff, low wages and the plight of vulnerable expatriates.
The march was spearheaded by the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) and the Bahrain Labour Union Free Federation (BLUFF), under the slogan 'No Real Development without Social Justice', said a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The unions also used the occasion to encourage women and youth to join the trade union movement.
"This march helped us raise issues that workers all over the country can relate to regarding treatment by employers and their rights," said GFBTU assistant secretary-general for the private sector Karim Radhi.
He said the rights of migrant workers, including domestic workers, and low wages in the private sector were also highlighted.
"We believe that both the GFBTU and BLUFF are fighting for the same causes," said Radhi. "All Bahraini workers must unite to get better wages, better social insurance and to safeguard the rights provided by the labour law."
He added the GFBTU also raised the issue of annual leave.
Marchers shouted slogans demanding that 800 employees dismissed during the 2011 unrest, and who are still jobless, be reinstated. They also condemned sectarianism, calling on workers to unite irrespective of race or religion.
BLUFF said the rally focused on the rights of sacked Gulf Air employees.
"We want more communication between government bodies, especially on the issue of annual leave," said a BLUFF spokesman.
"We want clear definitions regarding political societies and labour unions, as we see labour unions being used as political tools. We also reject foreign interference in the country's internal affairs and firmly support the government to make the right decisions,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service