Attacks on Bahrain's unions must stop says TUC
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written to Bahrain's Ambassador to the UK calling on the Bahraini Government to stop harassing, dismissing and arresting trade unionists and citizens in response to their peaceful calls for greater democracy and reform.
Please consider signing the global LabourStart petition calling on the Bahraini Government to stop its harassment of workers and their unions. For more information on the crisis, see the ITUC's page on Bahrain.
24 May 2011
H.E. Khalifa Bin Ali Bin Rashid al-Khalifa
Bahraini Ambassador to the UK
Attacks on the Bahraini trade union movement
On behalf of the TUC, its 55 affiliated trade unions and their 6.1 million members, I am writing to express our deep concern over Government attacks on the trade union movement and citizens of Bahrain.
I have been informed that more than one thousand workers have been dismissed for taking part in peaceful calls for democracy and reform. Many of the executive members of the General Federation of Bahraini Trade Unions have been dismissed from their jobs, as have many local trade union leaders. The people of Bahrain are living in a state of fear of further violence, arbitrary detention, and loss of their livelihoods.
By attempting to eliminate the trade union movement the Government of Bahrain is badly damaging its international reputation. The International Trade Union Confederation is already describing events as a 'slide towards absolute dictatorship'.
I urge your Government to instead stop harassing, dismissing and arresting trade unionists and citizens, and instead respect its obligations under international law, including respect for fundamental labour rights and freedom of expression.
The TUC stands by its Bahraini brothers and sisters facing this crisis, and will escalate its actions in the coming weeks if the situation does not improve.
Given the gravity of the situation, would it be possible to meet to convey my concerns in person and discuss this issue further? My staff would be pleased to contact your staff to arrange such a meeting.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Issued: 26 May, 2011