Bahraini Workers May Join Int'l Labor Group
An international federation of trade unions is hoping that an organization of Bahraini workers will become their first member from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, reported the Gulf Daily News on Wednesday.
“Bahrain is well-placed to be a forerunner in the region on labor issues and rights of workers,” said the assistant general secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Eddy Laurijssen.
“GCC states also need to improve their image as far as migrant workers are concerned, besides ensuring some basic international requirements,” he said.
Laurijssen was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on Freedom of Association and Rights of Trade Unions, said the paper.
The three-day event, which concluded on Tuesday, was organized by the General Committee for Bahrain Workers (GCBW).
“We have a new program now for the Arab world, to help the workers face the economic changes taking place,” said Laurijssen.
“Globalization is requiring trade unions to have a different role.
In the Arab world, privatization means trade unions must now learn to bargain with private sector employers, who are sometimes multinational corporations, instead of government ministers,” he said.
This requires special skills, which trade unions may not currently have.
The ICFTU is working with 11 Arab countries, including Bahrain, under its new program.
Bahrain’s GCBW, however, is not a member of the ICFTU, which is a Brussels-headquartered umbrella trade union organization of national trade unions in 148 countries and representing 156 million workers.
Only seven trade unions from the Arab world are members. The countries represented are Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen – Albawaba.com