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U.S. requests talks with Bahrain over 2011 labor crackdown

(Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday accused Bahrain of failing to protect workers' rights in its response to a March 2011 general strike at the time of the Arab Spring and asked for formal consultations under a free trade pact.

"Ensuring that workers in Bahrain - and in other countries - can exercise their fundamental labor rights is a top priority for the Obama Administration," acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said in a statement.

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Spencer Haskins's comment, May 8, 2013 6:15 AM
Obama and his administration are liars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA9KC8SMu3o No 'comfortable shoes', no support for labor, no support for international labor rights! They DO possess empty rhetoric, however......
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U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Bahrain FTA Violations | Human Rights First

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Bahrain FTA Violations | Human Rights First | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Washington, DC – Human Rights First applauds the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) report into violations of the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  The long-awaited report confirms that since early last year Bahraini trade union leaders were targeted for dismissal and criminalprosecution and that thousands of people were dismissed on the grounds of discrimination, facts that organized labor groups and NGOs have documented for some time.

“This report details evidence of past and recent labor violations and makes 12 recommendations for what Bahrain should to do to get things right,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “It’s a useful advocacy tool with solid guidance about next steps, but the Bahraini government doesn’t have a stellar record on implementing recommendations. The Department of Labor should be vigilant in monitoring progress in the wake of this review.”...

 

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Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights

Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

By launching new initiatives without addressing ongoing human rights violations, the U.S. government is missing an opportunity to use its engagement with Bahrain to support the emergence of a more just and democratic society.....

 

But the rest of the government appears indifferent to the growing repression. Just last week the U.S. Trade Representative announced a new trade and investment initiative for the region, which includes Bahrain.

By launching new initiatives without addressing the growing threats and ongoing human rights violations, the U.S. government is missing an opportunity to use its engagement with Bahrain to support the emergence of a more just and democratic society -- and to reject the Bahraini government's attempt to quash dissent by trampling rights, torturing its people and arresting men, women and children on political grounds.

It is not too late for the United States to support the freedoms and rights so valued by Americans and so desired by others. Our partnerships in the region need not be solely based on trade, investment and security interests -- but should also reflect the needs of courageous people who live in hope of a more just society.

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Bahrain: U.S. unions push for respect of human and labour rights

Bahrain: U.S. unions push for respect of human and labour rights | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

.... "“We are writing as organisations intimately involved in supporting the aspirations of Bahrainis to advance democracy and human rights in their country,” wrote the organisations in a letter to the Labour Secretary. “Among our core concerns have been the documented violations of the fundamental labour rights of Bahraini trade unionists, health care workers and teachers, for which the International Labour Organisation and the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry have called for remedial actions.  ...."

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Unions in support of Bahrain freedom protesters!

Representatives of British trade unions have held a meeting with Bahrain's ambassador to the UK to register a joint protest over the treatment of workers and demonstrators in the Persian Gulf state.

“The delegation raised the matter of the thousands of people sacked and the hundreds facing trial or sentenced for supporting the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain,” the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said.

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US labor team probes job purges in Bahrain

US labor team probes job purges in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
A U.S. fact-finding team in Bahrain wrapped up talks Wednesday to investigate workplace purges that have spurred calls to suspend a key trade pact over the Gulf nation's crackdown on protesters.
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Bahrain: Repression against Workers and Attacks against Trade Union Rights Are Still Going On - ITUC-CSI-IGB

Bahrain: Repression against Workers and Attacks against Trade Union Rights Are Still Going On - ITUC-CSI-IGB | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
The ITUC has once again condemned the terrible repression hitting the Bahraini workers.
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Trades Union Congress - Bahrain's anti-union repression escalates

Despite growing international pressure, the Bahraini authorities have stepped up the repression of the country's trade union movement, sacking more than 100 government employees in recent weeks.

 

Unions organize the people.  Individuals are easily oppresed by the Organized Governement.  Regimes have problems with individuals becoming organized and acquiring the power to fight back.  Unions must see themselves as the trustees of this power and dare to organize the people for the common good, against the will of the regime!

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Resistance in Bahrain: worker’s struggles — www.socialist.ca

Workers, and other protestors who have been participating in the demonstrations since February 14 (even before that)  are diverse. They come from different religious and political backgrounds. Some of them had never participated in any protest before February 14, but were outraged by  continuous oppression and discrimination. The decision to go on protests and later on strike was driven by the mass movement of people across Bahrain, but was faced with the regime’s brutality. Bahrain, a small island located in the Persian Gulf, is the home to the US Fifth Fleet and is the West’s ally in the region.....

The population in Bahrain is 1,323,535 including more than 600,000 expats. Bahrain's GDP is high- per capita (PPP): $27,300. However, this does not mean that people are living in good conditions. According to a report released in 2004 by the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), around half of Bahraini citizens living in the oil-rich region are suffering from poverty and poor living conditions. The gap between the very rich and the poor is significant.

The miserable conditions that the majority of the Bahraini population suffer from arise from different issues--social, economic and political--but they all stem from Al-Khalifa ruling class that has been in power for more than two centuries. According to BCHR, poverty in Bahrain is mainly caused by unequal distribution of wealth, waste of public money, financial and administration corruption, poor planning and exploitation of foreign workers (who constitute 60 per cent of the labour force). The main issue behind the deteriorating conditions of workers in Bahrain is the accumulation of wealth and resources in the hands of a small group of people— mainly the ruling family and loyalists.
 

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Deadlock remains in Bahrain dispute - The National

Deadlock remains in Bahrain dispute - The National | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

A stand-off between Bahrain's trade union movement and the government over labour rights is in danger of stretching into its third year if calls for receiving backdated payments and insurance claims remain unanswered.

Tensions are fraying as the 21-month long stalemate between the Arabian Gulf state's main labour union and the government shows no signs of easing.
At least 4,000 workers have been laid off in Bahrain since last year because of accusations they were involved in illegal strikes.
Most of those who were sacked have now been reinstated but the kingdom's largest trade union, the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU), which represents about 25,000 employees from 70 unions, says more needs to be done to compensate workers.

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'Arab Spring' Leaders Receive 2012 George Meany- Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award

'Arab Spring' Leaders Receive 2012 George Meany- Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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At the ceremony, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recognized the labor movements throughout the Arab region for their ongoing role in the struggle for democracy:

I’m proud to honor the brave working people of Bahrain and Tunisia, who transformed a wave of protests into the mass movement of democracy and economic equality that has come to be known as the Arab Spring. Unionists are a leading voice against corruption, for women’s rights and for a robust democracy with the rights of working people at its core…

Their courage inspires us, and we at the AFL-CIO have been proud to join the unions of Tunisia and Bahrain in this struggle. We will use every available channel to pursue the fundamental human rights that they so courageously champion. And we will not stop until you’ve achieved the goals you want and need. ...

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Spotlight interview with Salman Jaffar Al Mahfoodh (Bahrain - GFBTU)

Spotlight interview with Salman Jaffar Al Mahfoodh (Bahrain - GFBTU) | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
“We feel that people are supporting our fight” Unlike Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the Arab spring in Bahrain did not lead to democratic reforms nor to the end of an autocratic regime.
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Int'l Labor Org. complaint against Bahrain for discrimination!

Int'l Labor Org. complaint against Bahrain for discrimination! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The International Labour Organization (ILO) Listed on the agenda of the meetings of the session (312) of the Board of the International Labour Organization meeting in Geneva from 3 to Nov18, 2011, a complaint  made by 12 labor organizations against Bahrain.  The  complaint concerned the  non observance by Bahrain of the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), made by delegates to the 100th Session (2011) of the International Labour Conference under article 26 of the ILO Constitution.

 

See:    http://is.gd/sfrgG2

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World's unions intervene over Bahrain repression | Bahrain Center for Human Rights

World's unions intervene over Bahrain repression | Bahrain Center for Human Rights | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The world’s biggest trade union organisations today appealed directly to Bahrain’s royal family to act to reverse the prosecutions and mass sackings of those who joined pro-democracy actions in the country.

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U.S. Labor Advocates for Bahrain Workers Caught in the Crossfire - Working In These Times

U.S. Labor Advocates for Bahrain Workers Caught in the Crossfire - Working In These Times | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
In These Times features award-winning investigative reporting about corporate malfeasance and government wrongdoing, insightful analysis of national and international affairs, and sharp cultural criticism about events and ideas that matter.
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