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Deteriorating union rights situation in Bahrain

26 October, 2011In a statement the on October 17 the Global Unions urge the government of Bahrain to respect fundamental human and trade union rights, and demand that workers wrongfully dismissed are unconditionally reinstated, criminal charges dropped and legal reforms repealed.

BAHRAIN: In a letter to Prince Salman bin Ham ad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain the Global unions highlight the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain, after extensive dismissals of public workers.

Over 2,600 workers in both the public and private sectors have been dismissed after pro-democracy manifestations, and hundreds more suspended from public sector jobs, the unions say in their letter. A few reinstated workers have had to agree to unacceptable, indeed illegal, conditions to get their jobs back, including agreeing not to join the union. The dismissals have not yet stopped. Government workers, especially those in health, education and municipal sectors, continue to be suspended or fired for their actual or suspected participation in trade union and political activity earlier this year. Numerous trade union leaders are also now facing criminal prosecution.

To make matters worse, the government recently unilaterally amended the trade union law in an obvious act of retaliation against the trade unions. The purpose of these amendments is clear - to further undermine the Central organization GFBTU and its affiliates, and thereby eliminate an important voice for economic and social reform in Bahrain.

See the full letter, signed by the General Secretaries of Global Unions here.