Expatriate workers can join Bahrain trade union


The first-of-its-kind trade union in Bahrain is part of a plan to give workers of all sectors voice and courage to defend their rights, the General Secretary of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) Salman Mahfood told Khaleej Times yesterday.

He said that the trade union will be one of many national trade unions the GFBTU was working to form as part of a four-year plan to regularise the trade union activities in Bahrain.

Mahfood said that expatriates could join as members but cannot stand for election for top posts such as general secretary because Arabic was required for negotiations w i t h t r a d e b o d i e s concerned.

“We are calling upon expatriates in the construction or other sectors to join their unions as we treat all workers equally regardless of their nationalities or posts,” he said.

Mahfood said that Bahrainis dominate in terms of membership in the existing construction sector unions, while expatriates will be motivated to join the national union.

The union would safeguard the interests of more than 100,000 people working in the construction sector and the numbership is expected to increase with the growth in the urbanisation projects. The planned union is expected to address the issues of wages, accommodation for construction workers, health, safety, insurance and other matters affecting construction workers.


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