Labor unions may soon be allowed to operate legally in Bahrain when the Gulf state introduces an amendment to the labor law that will also allow "some sort of union activity," said Labor and Social Affairs Minister, Abdulnabi Al Shoala on Sunday.
He told representatives of Bahraini societies at an open forum that appropriate laws were being planned although he did not reveal what form they might take, the Gulf Daily quoted him as saying.
"We are working on union laws. Of course there is a difference between societies and unions, and organizations will have to decide which category they want to be in," he said.
"In the West, at least, unions are generally for blue collar workers and societies are for white collar workers."
There will be some organizations that will want to call themselves unions while others will remain societies, he said.
The open forum, which was attended by most of the country's major societies, was held to discuss the 1989 law governing societies, clubs and organizations of a cultural, social or sports nature, and propose a draft for a new law compatible with the National Charter, said the paper.
The meeting was attended by over 50 people representing various societies, including the Bahrain Society of Engineers, Bahrain Bankers Society, Bahrain Society for Training and Development, Bahrain Information Technology Society, Bahrain Dental Society and Bahrain Medical Society.
A large part of the discussion focused on a clause in the existing law which prevents societies from taking part in political activity, the paper added - Albawaba.com
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