GDN: BAHRAIN'S biggest trade union has welcomed plans to reinstate workers sacked during the unrest.
The General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) said the agreement reached by National Dialogue participants would help nearly 2,500 people dismissed for failing to show up for work.
"This is certainly a big push as the reinstatement of Bahraini workers is important as many families are affected with these sackings," said a spokesman.
It offers university diploma or degree holders a monthly assistance of BD150 and BD120 for undergraduates.
The GFBTU spokesman said workers were being reinstated in some cases, but said they did not have a clear picture.
"We heard some workers are being reinstated in some companies, but they do not inform us about this development," he said.
"The federation is still registering cases of sacked Bahraini workers."
The spokesman said the Dialogue had brought hope to thousands of Bahraini families affected.
He revealed the talks also led to consensus on regulation of trade unions in private and public sector.
The GFBTU is associated with close to 70 unions, representing more than 20,000 workers.
Its head Salman Mahfoodh was initially attending the Dialogue, but had to pull out earlier this month after undergoing an operation due to a non-life threatening health problem.
His deputy Ibrahim Hamad, who has been attending sessions since, called for a government probe into the sackings to be speeded up.
"The Labour Ministry committee is carrying out its task efficiently, but we request them to fast-track cases to save time," he said.
"Bahraini families are worst affected after these sackings."
The Cabinet announced on July 3 that private sector workers sacked in the aftermath of the unrest in February and March would be reinstated.
It agreed only those found not to have committed a crime or neglected their professional duties would be taken back.
Their reinstatement will depend on results of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding their sackings and whether they were legal.
The GFBTU called a nationwide strike on February 20, but called it off after security forces withdrew from the GCC (Pearl) Roundabout.
It then announced an indefinite strike on March 13 in solidarity with anti-government protesters, after police tried to evict demonstrators from outside the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
Protesters prevented many staff from reaching workplaces by blocking King Faisal Highway in Manama and attacked police who tried to remove them.
The union later said the strike would be called off once it was safe for workers to resume their duties.
Meanwhile, Alba Trade Union praised a company initiative to reinstate sacked workers through a grievance committee.
It confirmed some of those dismissed had resumed their duties, but no figures were available.
The union is now waiting for a detailed response from the company following instructions by Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan.
l The GFBTU yesterday extended its condolences to the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and the Labour Party following the bomb attack in the Norwegian capital Oslo and shooting on Utoya Island, which left more than 90 dead.
"The GFBTU, on behalf of Bahrain workers, praises relations with LO Norway and expresses its condemnation of the heinous twin terror attacks in Norway," it said in a statement.