More Bahraini Employees To Join Unions


A Government teachers’ union is already in the drawing boards, GFBTU heads confirmed to the Tribune, apart from several workers in other Government agencies signifying interest to form their own unions.

“The interest among the public sector to form unions has grown significantly. We expect the number of Government workers joining the GFBTU to increase very soon, by the thousands,” said Jamal Ateeq, a member of the GFBTU committee for Government workers.


“Teachers from the public schools are starting to form their own union,” he said.

While he would not elaborate on the specifics of the plan, he said they are positive that the teachers’ union will shape up especially as Government teachers find a common ground with fellow workers in the GFBTU – the lobby for better benefits and higher wages.


The GFBTU and the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) are still at loggerheads particularly over what both parties admit a “loose provision” in the Unions Act over the formation of unions among Government workers.


The issue had reached the courts but no decision had yet been rendered on whether government workers have the right to organise in the same way as workers in the private sector.


The GFBTU in the past had accused the CSB of “interfering” with efforts by Government workers to form unions. The CSB had denied such accusations.


The GFBTU had asked the help of the parliament to amend the Unions Act very soon especially stipulating the right of Government workers to form unions.


There are some 40 trade unions under the umbrella of the GFBTU. Workers movements in four Government agencies had been formed according to the union.


Over 10,000 Government workers had also joined a petition spearheaded by the GFBTU asking the Cabinet to raise the wages of the lowest paid workers in the public sector.

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