Bahrain Responds to U.S. Labour Department Report on FTA

Manama-Dec20 (BNA) The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has examined the extensive report by the U.S. Department of Labor on the Free Trade Agreement and its recommendations.

As part of its commitment to national reconciliation and support to the political and social stability of the country, the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has taken the necessary measures to reinstate all workers who had been dismissed from both public and private sectors, an issue which was in its entirety a result of their failure to report to work during the period of political unrest in Bahrain in February and March of 2011.

This issue was under intensive review by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, and addressed in their report released in November 2011.

In coordination with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) envoys to Bahrain, the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain had also provided a detailed report on this issue to the ILO since November of 2011.

In March of 2012, the ILO acknowledged the positive developments made in addressing the issue of dismissed workers. And in November 2012, the Government of Bahrain submitted to the ILO the additional results that have been achieved in this regard.

The Kingdom of Bahrain announces that 98% of dismissed works have been reinstated and their cases resolved, and the remaining issues are to be addressed through the adopted administrative or judiciary procedures in accordance with the laws of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

It is unfortunate that the statements made in the U.S Department of Labor’s report are not updated and do not include any developments achieved after August 2012, although many cases were resolved after that date.

We believe that with the issuance of the new labor law in 2012, Bahrain has met all its obligations concerning the freedom of forming societies, regulations and collective labor negotiation, in line with the labor article mentioned in the Free Trade Agreement.

Information related to this issue is available on the official websites for each of the respective ministries relevant to the situation.