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 Pay protest by Bapco workers

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Pascal
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PostSubject: Pay protest by Bapco workers   Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:12 pm

Pay protest by Bapco workers

WORK at Bahrain's only oil refinery may stop for half an hour next week as workers protest to demand better pay and allowances, it was revealed yesterday.

Bapco Trade Union is seeking a 25 per cent increment on basic salaries, an increase in transport allowances from BD30 to BD60 and a housing allowance of BD120 for all employees, a union member told the GDN.

The protest will be held on October 31, from 6.15am to 6.45am at the Bapco refinery in Askar.

The union says it took on the appeal for these demands after a letter asking for similar increments failed to produce a positive response when it was sent to Bapco president Dr Mustafa Al Sayed earlier this month.

The letter, framed by a 10-member group of workers, was endorsed by 600 employees.

This move also follows reports that Alba approved a pay rise of 20 per cent for all workers starting this month.

The management agreed to the increase following directives from His Majesty King Hamad when he met the chairman and members of the Alba board last month.

The new agreement will cost Alba BD4.6 million.

Prior to the wage increase more than 1,700 workers held an hour's strike, which was claimed to have cost the company $5m (BD1.8m).

"The (Bapco) union took on the case because there was no positive response from the company about the letter," said a union member, who wants to remain anonymous.

"We call for fairness and equality... the management has got increments and allowances and ordinary workers should also have this.

"The trade union and board have been holding daily meetings over the past week to discuss the latest issues.

"They have decided to hold a protest on the first Tuesday after Eid.

"During that time, the trade union will get members to speak to employees and call on them to participate in the protest."

Bapco management yesterday requested a negotiation meeting with the union on Thursday to discuss outstanding issues of wages increases.

"Bapco wishes to emphasise its high level of care for its staff which it considers important for fostering relationship between management and the union," the company said in a statement.

"This will ensure outstanding performance by the employees."

In a separate statement, the union said yesterday the protest would not be held in work hours and would have no impact on Bapco's operation.

Union president Abdulghaffar Abdulhussein called on all employees to continue working hard to improve company productivity.

He said he had been contacted by Labour Ministry Under-Secretary Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Abdulla Al Khalifa about Bapco's pay issues, praising his efforts and keenness to follow workers' cases.

He said that he had also been contacted by Dr Al Sayed, who invited the union to a negotiation meeting to discuss issues over pay.

However, the union president cast doubt over the meeting by stating that most issues had been extensively discussed by the union and the management at previous meetings.

Gulf Daily News, 23 October 2006

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PostSubject: Re: Pay protest by Bapco workers   Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:20 am

Bapco workers plan brief sit-in

Workers at the Bahrain Petroleum Co (Bapco) will hold a brief sit-in on Tuesday if demands for higher pay are not met, but the protest will not affect refinery output, the leader of the workers' union said.

Union leader Abdul Ghaffur Abdul Hussein said negotiations with Bapco's management were continuing.

The possible 45 minute sit-in would be the second high profile labour dispute since Bahrain banned sacking employees for union activity earlier this month.

Days after the new law was enacted, workers at Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), one of the Gulf's biggest producers, held a brief strike, securing a 20 per cent pay rise at a cost to Alba of BD4.6 million ($12.2 million).

Trade Arabia, October 28. 2006

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PostSubject: Re: Pay protest by Bapco workers   Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:33 pm

Oil refinery workers threaten sit-in protest today

Workers at Bahrain Petroleum Co. are due to hold a sit-in protest over pay.

The workers at Bapco oil refinery in Bahrain have threatened a 45 minute sit-in protest today if their demands for higher pay are not met.

Negotiations between management and the unions are ongoing. The planned action may be short lived, but it is only the second worker-organised action to take place in Bahrain since sacking people for union activity was outlawed earlier in the month, allowing cautious union activity to begin.

Earlier in the month, workers at Aluminium Bahrain secured a 20% pay rise in the country's first legal unionised strike.

LibCom, October 31, 2006

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