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Union slams expat-only pay rise

Batelco comes under fire after salary increases for foreign staff are not extended to Bahrani employees.

Batelco has come under fire from its trade union after it said it would increase the salaries of its expatriate employees without extending the offer to local staff.

The decision, announced last week by the Bahraini telecom, was a “dangerous development”, and a “clear violation of the international labour convention concerning discrimination”, the union said in a statement reported by UAE daily Gulf News.

The telecom had announced a pay rise to staff from 16 nationalities to offset the effect of the falling US dollar, to which the kingdom's currency is pegged, and spiralling prices in a bid to prevent them from leaving the company.

“A total of 92 foreigners benefited from a 10-11% increase in their salaries whereas the fall of the Bahrain dinar against their currencies was about 7.5%,” the company said.

“Last year we increased the salaries of 84% of staff, regardless of their nationalities, and this year, we have given increases ranging between 5 and 20% to 50 Bahrainis.”