From Gulf Daily News:
26 workers demand jobs back
By Sandeep Singh Grewal
Monday, July 30, 2012
A GROUP of 26 sacked workers from the Information Affairs Authority (IAA) staged a sit-in yesterday in Riffa, demanding to be reinstated.
They were reportedly dismissed last year as a result of the privatisation of their section and claimed the organisation had failed to pay them their outstanding dues.
They demanded their salaries to be paid, pending completion of procedural requirements, in addition to accounting for 10 additional years added to their pension scheme or reinstating them with the same salaries as before.
The Bahrainis, who worked in the make-up, decor, design, carpentry and engineering departments in addition to other specialisations, were backed by the National Free Thought Society, which has taken up their case and organised the peaceful demonstration near the Shaikhan Grand Mosque.
“These workers were sacked last year not because of the political unrest but due to the privatisation of the section, where they were employed,” said society secretary-general Layla Rajab.
“They are clearly qualified Bahrainis who worked in the Information Affairs Authority with clean records.
“The decision to dismiss them is unacceptable and needs to be addressed immediately.”
Ms Rajab, who was present at yesterday’s protest, said the families of the sacked employees were suffering because they could not afford the added expenses of Ramadan.
“We all know during Ramadan families spend more and with no source of income, they are in a tough position,” she explained.
“This will be further worsened when they have to shop for Eid Al Fitr next month.”
Ms Rajab and the dismissed workers held placards demanding “justice” and carried umbrellas to beat the summer heat as they protested for hours.
She raised the issue with His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa last month, but wants MPs and Shura Council members to step in and help the group.
A Bahraini woman, who worked as a make-up artist and was present at the sit-in, demanded authorities to pay their pending salaries and to add 10 additional years to their pension scheme.
“All the staff dismissed from their jobs want their salaries to be paid and completion of procedural requirements,” she said.
The IAA were unavailable for comment when contacted by the GDN yesterday.
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