800 workers reinstated in Bahrain
Manama, September 25, 2011
Eight hundred people sacked in connection with Bahrain’s unrest earlier this year have so far been reinstated, said a senior government official.
Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan revealed another 840 cases were still under review, while 175 people had been found new jobs elsewhere.
He told a Press conference at the media centre at Isa Cultural Centre, Juffair, that 328 people had failed to submit any form of complaint against their dismissal and 213 were sacked for reasons unrelated to the unrest.
More than 2,000 people lodged official complaints after being sacked for allegedly skipping work to take part in illegal protests during unrest in February and March.
“Those who went on strike intended to paralyse the economy and some companies took disciplinary action against their staff,” said Humaidan.
“A committee was set up to analyse each complaint and decide whether employees could return to their former jobs or be given new ones.
“So far 800 have returned to their old jobs and with the co-operation of the companies in question, this is increasing every day.”
He said companies that took back workers were helping ensure that there were no further problems in future.
“We want to close this case soon as we don’t want this to lead to problems in society and hinder any movement to unite the people again,” he said.
Meanwhile, he revealed Bahrain was taking pioneering steps in implementing labour market reforms.
These include free skills training for jobseekers and the creation of a “jobs bank” where jobseekers enter their qualifications and details into a database and relevant and appropriate jobs are selected.
The minister said the main issues for new MPs should include reducing unemployment by supporting free training programmes for graduates, ratifying a minimum wage of BD400 ($1,060) for graduates and protecting the rights of domestic workers.
“Unemployment is currently under four per cent and from this historic day, the labour sector aims to implement the comprehensive reform projects as set out by His Majesty King Hamad,” he said.
“Bahrain is a leader in the GCC with regards to supporting the right to strike, the creation of trade unions and accepting trade unionism as paid profession.”
“Also for the first time, the new labour law will include the basic rights of domestic workers. We don’t want to lose such achievements and we are very keen to maintain our position and preserve the reforms process,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service