Bapco may sue workers' union
Manama, March 31, 2011
Bapco has said it would take legal action against the employees' union for encouraging workers to go on strike during the unrest.
A special committee has been set up to investigate all cases of absenteeism, which was 60 per cent of the workforce on March 16 and 17, said company chief executive Faisal Al Mahroos.
'The company's legal department will examine the cases and then recommend action,' he told a Press conference at the Bapco Club in Awali.
'The Bapco Union and the employees could be taken to court or to the Labour Ministry.'
Al Mahroos said all employees who were absent without a valid reason would have their salaries deducted.
'All leave taken from February 14 onwards will be considered leave without pay,' he said.
There had been instances of company vehicles being used to ferry employees to the GCC (Pearl) Roundabout so they could take part in protests, said Al Mahroos.
'This will also be investigated and legal action taken,' he said.
Al Mahroos, who was accompanied by Bapco's top management, also discounted all reports that production had come to a halt.
'We had a planned maintenance shutdown that is still ongoing,' he said.
'However, though operations were slightly affected as we had to shut down some facilities as a precaution, we had no shortages in the local market, where all supplies of petrol, gas and diesel were normal.
'Only on the exports front there was some impact, but this can be made up easily over the rest of the year.'
Al Mahroos said there were no shortages of petrol, aviation fuel, cooking gas or diesel in the local market and all industrial requirements were also met.
'None of the large companies were found wanting for their requirements of gas,' he said.
The recent events had made it necessary for the company to adopt a number of precautionary measures, said Al Mahroos.
These included closing down some crude oil processing facilities, along with stopping operations of receiving crude oil from Saudi Arabia temporarily.
'We will also shortly be taking a fresh look at our contingency plans to ensure such a thing never happens again,' he said.
Al Mahroos welcomed a parliamentary probe into absenteeism at the company, saying it would be the ideal way to sort out everything.
'We are sure the probe will come to the right conclusion and present a clear picture of what went on,' he said.-TradeArabia News Service