The AFL-CIO today applauded the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to accept its complaint regarding the government of Bahrain’s failure to live up to its trade agreement commitments with respect to workers’ rights.
The complaint, filed April 21 with the Office of Trade and Labor Affairs, documents the Bahrain government’s repression of peaceful protests and attacks on the General Federation of Bahraini Trade Unions (GFBTU). Click here to read the complaint.
For two months, the union movement around the world and in the United States has called on the government of Bahrain to halt its all-out attack against workers. In retaliation for peaceful protests and as part of the Bahraini government’s overall crack down on dissent, more than 1,700 workers have been summarily dismissed from their jobs, frequently in contravention of Bahrain’s labor laws.
“The egregious attacks on workers must end, and the Bahraini government’s systematic discrimination against and dismantling of unions must be reversed. These actions directly violate the letter and the spirit of the trade agreement,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.
Workers must be reinstated to their jobs and the elected union leadership must be allowed to function without fear of reprisals. Failure by the United States to intervene to support workers and their democratic institutions would make a mockery of the labor protections included in the free trade agreement.