World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


US Calls on Bahrain to Make Progress on Labour Rights

INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION

United States Calls on Bahrain to Make Progress on Labour Rights

Brussels, 8 January 2013 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC is urging the US government to follow through on a US Department of Labor report which has found that Bahrain violated labour commitments made under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. The long delayed report, issued on December 20, made a series of recommendations to be taken up in formal consultations between the two governments, including enacting substantial labour law reforms, ensuring that workers be unconditionally reinstated with back pay, reviewing all criminal cases against trade unionists and dropping charges where appropriate and refraining from any further activities that would undermine trade unions, including the national trade union centre GFBTU.

“The U.S. government now must demonstrate that the consultations comprise a serious effort to address Bahrain’s blatant disregard for the trade agreement’s labor chapter, including punishing people at work for their peaceful participation in democracy marches,” according to the AFL-CIO, which filed the original complaint under the FTA in April 2011.

In February 2011, Bahrainis took to the streets to demand economic and social justice and democratic reforms. Trade unions, including the GFBTU (General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions), played an important role in the protests and at one point called a general strike. The government’s reaction to the protests was swift and harsh, resulting in serious and widespread human rights violations. In light of this crisis, the AFL-CIO filed a complaint under the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in April 2011 calling on the United States to withdraw from the pact and, at the very least, to initiate consultations under the labour chapter regarding the sacking of thousands of trade union members and the arrest and prosecution of union leaders.

“In 2012, an ILO-led process produced important but incomplete progress in achieving justice for those who were victims of the labour repression committed by the government in response to the protests. That process has now stalled due to a lack of political will by the government and, indeed, it is again backsliding on its international commitments. This includes the recent sentencing of trade union leaders to lengthy prison sentences for their union activity,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

“The US Department of Labor has issued an important report that could provide the leverage necessary to resolve the on-going labour rights crisis in Bahrain. The formal consultation process also provides the United States, which has maintained a muted public response to the human rights crisis in Bahrain, an opportunity to show that it can and will put human rights first in the Middle East. We urge the United States not to conclude the consultation process until each of the recommendations is fully met,” urged Burrow.

The ITUC represents 175 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 308 national affiliates.

Follow us on the web: http://www.ituc-csi.org and http://www.youtube.com/ITUCCSI

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news