Bahrain trade union calls for strike
Manama, March 14, 2011
A strike has been announced by Bahrain's largest trade union in solidarity with protesters injured during clashes with riot police near the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
The General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) said the decision was approved by its board after security forces clashed with protesters, who had blocked the King Faisal Highway.
'This will be an open strike until further notice,' said secretary-general Salman Mahfoodh.
'We have communicated our decision to more than 69 trade union heads in different sectors, who have been asked to abide by the strike call.'
Mahfoodh said the strike would continue indefinitely until the federation decided it was the correct time to call it off.
When asked to comment about the problems faced by motorists unable to reach their workplaces as protesters blocked both carriageways of the King Faisal Highway, he said officials did not have any precise information.
This was despite footage of protesters dragging furniture onto the highway to block the main route into Bahrain's financial district being aired on Bahrain Television and on videos posted online by witnesses.
'We heard that roads were blocked, but do not have additional information,' said Mahfoodh.
'But this violent act by authorities against protesters violates human rights principles and international conventions signed by Bahrain.'
The union head said officials supported demands of protesters and urged all parties to protest and practise peaceful civil disobedience.
The federation earlier called for a nationwide strike on February 20, but called it off after the military withdrew from the Pearl Roundabout.
The federation is associated with seven political societies involved in the national dialogue initiated by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander.-TradeArabia News Service