Batelco union launches solidarity campaign

Batelco Trade Union struggle continues with launch of campaign to support dismissed workers.

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By  Michele Howe Published  August 21, 2007

Batelco Trade Union is staging a month-long informal protest over the recent dismissal of two of its union colleagues.

Union representatives are running what they call a ‘solidarity campaign' in support of their former colleagues, who were sacked last month allegedly for organising a protest.

The campaign will consist of a number of activities, the union said in a statement, without providing more specific details.

It started August 15 with a protest outside the company's headquarters, according to local papers.

Other activities will include a signature campaign and tree planting, the Bahrain Tribune reported.

Majed Suhrab, deputy chairman of the Trade Union, and Faisal Ghazwan, head of the studies and research committee, were dismissed from the company last month.

The campaign is the latest stage in the long-running battle between Bahrain's leading telecom operator and its trade union.

The two parties have clashed over a range of issues including salary levels and proposed changes to the company's voluntary retirement scheme.

The trade union is pushing for a 25% increase in salaries. Earlier this year, Batelco agreed to a 15% pay rise for those at the lower end of the pay scale and said it would conduct a salary study.

The union has twice this year cancelled strike action, most recently in April.

The Ministry of Labour and the chairman of Batelco are expected to meet this week to discuss the dismissals and other issues, the union statement said.

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