Ministry to help ex-staff of Bahrain Air
Manama, April 25, 2013
Bahrain’s Labour Ministry is aiming to find employment for Bahrain Air staff who lost their jobs when the airline went into voluntary liquidation, a report said.
A total of 345 workers were affected when the company announced it would immediately suspended all operations two months ago, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The airline said the decision was taken due to massive losses as a result of unrest in 2011, which led to profitable routes being cancelled and a drop in passenger traffic through Bahrain.
The airline earlier confirmed that former staff will get 24 days' pay for every year they worked for the carrier plus leave and indemnity for foreign employees.
The legal liquidator Mourad Consultancy is handling the airline's financial responsibilities and has already paid half of the staff their dues, 40 per cent of them last month and 10 per cent last week.
The remaining 50 per cent are due to be paid once the company sells off its assets.
The Bahrain Air Trade Union (BATU) had initially been holding out for full payment of end-of-term packages, but said it reluctantly agreed to the deal because ex-employees were facing massive difficulties and urgently needed cash.
"The new development is that the Labour Ministry has started calling former staff members in to collect CVs," said BATU chairman Abdull Raoof.
"The Labour Ministry is calling about 10 employees every day to check CVs and conduct interviews to help find out the best profession suited according to each person's experience and field of expertise.
"They have been presenting them with choices but until now there are no results as they only started on Sunday.
"Those in marketing, sales and public relations will be able to find work more easily as they are not limited to the aviation sector which is very good news but I don't know what they will do with the others like the cabin crew."
Raoof welcomed ministry attempts to help those out of work to find new jobs.
"There are other employees who have been looking for work and many of them have to resort to employment agencies, but they are telling me some horrible news," he said.
"These agencies are offering work, but the salaries that they will be given are almost half as much as the company they would work in would pay.
"Also if they sign up with one of these employment agencies their contract will be with the agency not the company they will work for."
The previously reported that several cases have been filed against the airline for incurred debts exceeding BD2 million ($5.27 million).
A case was also filed against Bahrain Air last month demanding it switch its closure status from voluntary liquidation to bankruptcy, a court decision has yet to be made.
Around 22,000 people with airline tickets are expected to be refunded once the remaining staff have been compensated, however, no timeframe has been given about how long it will take. – TradeArabia News Service
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