Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bahraini Strike Law

As part of free trade negotiations with the United States, Bahrain agreed to liberalize its labor laws. About a month ago, the island nation banned firing striking workers. Immediately, workers began striking or threatening to do so. It seems that didn't go over so well:
"Bahrain has banned strikes and worker demonstrations in most business sectors, a month after labour law reforms banning the sacking of strikers encouraged a wave of trade union activity in the Gulf island state...

"'Strikes and calls for demonstrations in vital establishments are banned ... these establishments are civil defence, airports, sea ports, hospitals, health centres and pharmacies,' Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa said in an edict posted on a state media Web site on Monday.

"The other areas where strikes are now banned are transport, telecommunications, water and electricity companies, bakeries, educational firms and oil and gas companies.

"The head of Bahrain's trade unions declined to comment.

"Since the ban on sacking striking workers was issued on Oct. 17, many workers in Bahrain, a U.S. ally, have either gone on strike or threatened to do so, to demand better working conditions."

(Crossposted to American Footprints.)


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