Bahraini union members agree to strike

As many as 90 per cent of members from Bahrain’s largest trade union federation have agreed to go on strike, the movement’s president says.

The workers, who reportedly began their action on Sunday, include those at Bahrain’s two largest companies, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) and Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco).

“About 90 per cent of Bahraini workers in the trade union or outside responded to the call of the general federation to go on strike,” said Sayed Salman, the president of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, which represents 25,000 employees from 70 unions.

Mr Salman said the leadership contacted its membership on Sunday in response to continued unrest throughout the country.

A general assembly was not possible because of the “abnormal” situation in the country, he said.

“We called every single trade union and [the vast majority] of the trade unions said they had already responded to an order” to strike, Mr Salman said.

The federation’s primary demand is for better dialogue between the crown prince of Bahrain and the protesters, Mr Salman said. The strike was also a response to increasing violence on the streets of Bahrain that posed a danger to workers going to and from jobs, he said.

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