Sacked workers protest in Bahrain
Manama, January 30, 2014
Around 200 people protested in front of Bahrain's Labour Ministry yesterday demanding the reinstatement of workers dismissed following unrest in 2011.
It was the 24th demonstration calling for jobs for those still out of work, according to the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) which organised the gathering, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Participants - who included dismissed workers, their families, friends and children - chanted slogans and held up pieces of bread to highlight their situation.
"All we want is a source of income so we can have a piece of bread," they chanted in Arabic.
They also wore T-shirts saying "still dismissed" and held up banners of companies where they used to work.
Children could be seen holding up signs in Arabic that said: "Reinstate my father so he can work and we can live."
Around 4,600 people were dismissed in 2011 after they allegedly failed to show up for work so they could take part in anti-government demonstrations, were arrested on suspicion of criminal activities or took part in strikes called by trade unionists sympathetic to the Bahraini opposition movement.
Some claim they were sacked for no reason.
However, authorities say around 98 per cent have since been reinstated or found work elsewhere.
GFBTU assistant secretary-general Mohammad Mahdi said it was time those still unemployed were found work.
"These people have been in financial trouble since then (2011) and are struggling to survive," he said.
"They are not asking for handouts - they just want to be able to work again."
The GFBTU has taken the case to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), but Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan told MPs earlier this month that the matter would be resolved "very soon" and before a March deadline set by the ILO. - TradeArabia News Service