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Bahrain ministry suspends 111 employees

Manama, April 18, 2011

The Education Ministry has suspended 111 employees for participating in anti-government protests and strike called by the dissolved Bahrain Teachers Society (BTS).

Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi said probe committees had concluded their fact-finding work and submitted the first batch of reports regarding school violations during the recent unrest.

The minister was speaking in an interview with Bahrain News Agency. He said the suspended employees were referred to the Civil Service Bureau to face legal action under provisions of the law on civil service for 2010.

BTS turned its course towards political objectives that served the goals of a particular sector, said Dr Al Nuaimi.

"It called for strikes for political reasons in a bid to cripple schools and the education system and in the process abused the rights of children and students," he said.

BTS members first went on strike fromFebruary 20 to 23, to support anti-government protesters.

"During the second day of the strike we were overwhelmed by the number of volunteers who came spontaneously to fill the shortage," said Dr Al Nuaimi.

"The ministry selected the most qualified volunteers to carry on the educational process through opening many offices to receive their applications."

The society then urged parents on March 12 to keep children away from schools for their own safety to protect them from clashes between pupils in government schools.

The teachers then continued their strike even after the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) called off its general strike on March 22.

BTS members, mainly public school teachers in primary, intermediate and secondary, returned to work on March 24.

Meanwhile, unionists said yesterday they registered 776 cases of dismissed workers from public and private sectors.

Workers continued to pour in at the GFBTU premises in Adliya to register for the unemployment insurance scheme.

"We registered until 2pm yesterday several new cases taking the total number to 776," said a GFBTU spokesman.

A union official said they had previously announced wrong figures stating the number of sacked workers at 800, which should have been 700 dismissed staff.

Among those who registered yesterday were sacked staff from APM Terminals, Banagas and Asry.

The highest number of sacked workers who registered was from Alba at 189 followed by 145 from Bapco, 127 from APM Terminals, and 117 workers from Batelco.

Ministries and companies in the private sector dismissed staff for allegedly skipping work to take part in anti-government protests, including a nationwide strike called by the GFBTU, and unjustified absenteeism.

GFBTU is expected to give the list of sacked workers to the Labour Ministry by this week.

The ministry will evaluate each case and summon companies in case they find any worker is unfairly dismissed, according to officials.

Those cases will be directly referred to the labour court.

His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on March 28 ordered a crackdown on absentee public sector employees and directed ministries and government departments to strictly implement rules set by the Civil Service Bureau (CSB).

Following the directives, several ministries - namely Health, Culture, Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs, Housing, Education among others - formed investigation committees or commissions of inquiry to take action against staff violating CSB rules.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: education | Teachers | unrest | protests | General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions |

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