Bahrain trade union warns of strike
Manama , March 2, 2011
Bahrain's largest trade union has threatened to call for another nationwide strike if talks between the government and opposition groups collapse.
The General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) said the move was a possibility if its demands were not met, but would only be used as a last resort.
'We organised a day of national strike on February 20 that received overwhelming response,' said GFBTU secretary-general Salman Mahfoodh.
'We plan to step up by calling a similar strike if the dialogue process fails to achieve any objectives or demands.
The union leader also asked public and private sector workers to contact them before going on any flash strike.
'In the present situation we have realised that individuals want to go on strike to support or join protesters at the Pearl Roundabout,' he said.
'But the fact of the matter is that these trade unions should inform their company and the federation before taking such a step.'
Mahfoodh said the GFBTU was associated with national dialogue process initiated by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, which is backed by seven political societies.
'Our demands are the same as that of the protesters and opposition societies of dissolving the government.
'We also expressed concern regarding the cabinet reshuffle, which failed to address the demand of the people calling for real reforms.'
GFBTU members regularly meet protesters camping at Pearl Roundabout and exchange views with political societies.
The union head said they supported demands of protesters and urged all parties to protest and practise peaceful civil disobedience.
Mahfoodh said former GFBTU head and Bapco union head Mohammed Abdulghaffar resigned after consulting officials.
He said the Shura Council member was upset over recent events and the killing of seven Bahrainis after last month's police crackdown on anti-government protesters.-TradeArabia News Service