Alba Labour Union Rejects Council of Representatives’ Proposal

09/11/2016

 

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In a statement, Alba Labour Union expressed its surprise at the proposal of the representatives of people to prohibit implementing the law of labour unions, which allows workers to lead strikes in non-vital sites. Alba and other aluminium companies are not considered vital or sensitive sites.

The union said the urgent request of the representatives to add Alba Company to the list of sensitive sites, which is a resolution by the Council of Ministries, was baseless. This request is considered an act of contempt towards the working class at Alba and the surrounding aluminium companies, which is aware of the importance of this sector to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The union also stated that defending the legitimate right of leading strikes is one of the principles of union work and is a weapon used for forcing employers to sit at the negotiating table and reach appropriate solutions for any problems. In addition, the union said the Bahraini legislator has added new articles regarding strikes. These articles force production parties to sit at the negotiating table to reach solutions and present their problems to the Dispute Resolution Commission, which is presided by a commissioned judge by the Ministry of Justice.

Furthermore, Alba Labour union pointed out that the root of the problem at Alba was the direction of the management to freeze the salaries of 288 Alba workers. This will create more anxiety about the rights of the workers who are already exhausted by the acute shortage of labour forces. The company has not recruited new workers from over a year; however, it has given hundreds of Bahraini workers’ jobs to the contracting companies. This has resulted in losing experienced people and has also distanced Alba from its national role, since its establishment, to combat unemployment and train the youth.

Moreover, Alba Labour Union stated that its Board of Directors rejected the resolution of the company to freeze workers’ salaries a month ago and asked the Executive Management to have discussions with the union to reach satisfactory solutions. The union suggested the necessary solutions to this problem by means of raising the basic salary ceiling, which has not been reviewed since 1983, and reviewing the automatic promotions in the case of the workers who have reached the maximum basic salary.

The reform project of His Majesty, the King has given workers the right to form unions in institutions according to the law of the principles of union organization. The project also has given workers the right to lead strikes and celebrate on the Labour Day. Alba workers cannot be left without defenders of their legitimate rights and gains by means of the prohibition of strikes, which have never been led. Workers have used this authorization to put pressure on companies’ managements, as mentioned in the reform project of His Majesty, the King, to reach solutions which would serve production parties.

The union calls all representative blocs and the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain not to hinder union activities, which defend workers’ rights by law. The goal of all this is to annul the labour union law and change national unions into useless joint committees.

 

Alba Labour Union  

 

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