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 Worker strike and repression in an US compagny

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Pascal
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PostSubject: Worker strike and repression in an US compagny   Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:53 am

Read in "Gulf daily News" (22 august) :

Quote :

Last-gasp talks to end food allowance strike

A US company in Bahrain yesterday stood by its decision to sack 44 Bahraini workers for participating in an "illegal" strike, but said that negotiations over their reinstatement were still underway.

The strike by Bahraini employees demanding equal food allowances to those given to Asian employees was illegal, Dyncorp International officials said.

The Texas-based company that provides technical services to the US Naval Support Activity in Bahrain is currently in talks with Labour Ministry officials and General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) representatives.

Up to 60 of the Bahraini employees at Dyncorp are said to have participated in the strike, which began last Sunday, and 44 strikers were given letters of termination on its second day.

Company management issued a statement declaring the strike illegal and threatening to terminate the contracts of participants for making the "deliberate individual choice to support an illegal action against the company" prior to the strike, which went ahead anyway.

"Dyncorp International sincerely regrets that 44 of our Bahraini employees chose to join the illegal strike called by the Dyncorp Workers Trade Union (DWTU) on August 14," site manager Tommy Almquist said in and official statement to the GDN.

"This is the second illegal event of its kind in the last four months and has placed the company in the unfortunate position of having to terminate many of our most valued and most skilled workers.

"During recent weeks, this company made several appeals to the union not to put the employment of their membership at risk, the last being during the meeting convened by the company the day before the current strike."

"The company has made many concessions to union demands and provided significant pay raises beyond the annual increment benefit, along with company support and sponsorship of union activities.

The dispute over food allowance for Bahraini employees and other demands led to a previous strike three months ago, which was called off after one day to make way for amicable negotiations brokered by the GFBTU and the ministry.

Dyncorp reinstated other demands made by employees, but said it was not legally required to provide equal food allowance - although it was willing to do so if given instructions by the ministry.

DWTU chairman Abduljalil Al Durazi has claimed Dyncorp should pay Bahraini workers the same food allowance as expatriate workers according to article 111 of the Labour Law.

There are reportedly around 80 Bahrainis employed by the company along with around 45 Asians.

Mr Al Durazi said yesterday that he was still waiting for the company's verdict.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=153307&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=29155


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PostSubject: Article 16th august   Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:07 am

Other and older articles about this strike :

Gulf Daily News - 16 august 2006

Quote :

42 sacked over 'Illegal' strike

Forty-two Bahraini workers at a US company were sacked yesterday for participating in a strike that their bosses had declared "illegal". The Dyncorp International employees gathered outside the company's headquarters, in Juffair, for the second day in a row yesterday, calling for Bahrainis to receive food allowances equal to those given to the Asian staff.

Company management on Friday issued a statement declaring the strike illegal and threatened to terminate the contracts participants for making the "deliberate individual choice to support an illegal action against the company".

The first day of the strike passed without any response to the workers or their demands, but yesterday 42 employees were handed termination letters from management, according to the Dyncorp Workers Trade Union (DWTU).

Dyncorp has said it is not legally required to provide equal food allowance to employees although it would do so if given instructions by the ministry.

"Forty-two Bahraini employees were terminated," DWTU chairman Abduljalil Al Durazi said.

"Everyone has a letter from the site manager saying that everyone who has striked, from today, this is their last day working in the company."

The workers are now turning to the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) and the Labour Ministry in hope that the decision will be reversed, said Al Durazi.

"We have a meeting at the GFBTU to discuss this.

"They have promised me and all the 42 people to do something for us.

"The employees are very sad about that letter, and they have all come with me for the meetings with the GFBTU."

The third day of the strike has been called off, he added.

The dispute over food allowance for Bahraini employees led to a previous strike three months ago, which was called off after one day to make way for amicable negotiations brokered by the GFBTU and the ministry.

Dyncorp reinstated other demands made by employees, but said it was not legally required to provide equal food allowance - although it was willing to do so if given instructions by the ministry.

Mr Al Durazi has claimed Dyncorp should pay Bahraini workers the same food allowance as expatriate workers according to article 111 of the Labour Law.

Dyncorp International is a Texas-based company that provides technical services to the US Naval Support Activity in Bahrain. Site manager Tommy Almquist has said he was not authorised to comment on the issue but would discuss the release of a public statement with senior management officials.

The GDN was unable to reach anyone at the company office in Oman yesterday.


Some of the striking workers on day two of their agitation
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PostSubject: 15 th august   Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:09 am

Gulf daily News, 15 th august

Quote :

Strikers picket company gates

BAHRAINI workers at a US company began a three-day strike yesterday, defying a company warning that they would lose their jobs for taking part in the "illegal strike".

About 50 Dyncorp International employees gathered outside the company's headquarters in Juffair, calling for Bahrainis to receive food allowances equal to those given to the Asian staff.

Company management, who on Friday issued a statement declaring the strike illegal and threatening to terminate the contracts of anyone who took part, did not make any contact with the striking workers, Dyncorp Workers Trade Union (DWTU) chairman Abduljalil Al Durazi said. General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) and Labour Ministry officials were not present at the site either, he said.

"The management said nothing," said Mr Al Durazi.

"Just us people were sitting outside the company from 6pm to 10pm - nobody came from the GFBTU and the ministry.

"But the strike will continue for three days and until the company says something (to us) we will continue."

Employees of the company had called off a previous strike three months ago to make way for amicable negotiations brokered by the GFBTU and the ministry. Dyncorp reinstated employees' annual pay rise, but said it was not legally required to provide equal food allowance although it would do so if given instructions by the ministry.

Mr Al Durazi has claimed Dyncorp should pay Bahraini workers the same food allowance as expatriate workers according to article 111 of the Labour Law.

However, Dyncorp disputes this claim, saying that local laws do not compel it to pay the Bahraini workers food allowance.

Employees who participate in the strike will be considered to be participating in a "deliberate individual choice to support an illegal action against the company", site manager Tommy Almquist says in a warning letter to workers.

The company also claimed the strike has been declared illegal by the ministry and the GFBTU. Dyncorp International is a Texas-based company that provides technical services to the US Naval Support Activity (NSA) in Bahrain.

Site manager Tommy Almquist has said he was not authorised to comment on the issue and the GDN was unable to reach anyone at the company office in Oman yesterday.
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PostSubject: 14 th august   Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:11 am

Gulf Daily News 14 th august

Quote :

Strikers defy sacking threat

BAHRAINI workers at a US company say they will go ahead with a planned strike today, despite management warnings that it is illegal and they will be sacked. More than 80 Bahraini employees of Dyncorp International are expected to take part in the strike, which calls for equal food allowances for Bahraini and Asian staff.

However, management of the company declared it illegal yesterday and threatened to terminate the contracts of anyone who takes part.

"On July 30, the Dyncorp Workers Trade Union (DWTU) announced a strike beginning August 14 regarding the demand for payment of a food allowance," Dyncorp management said in a letter to DWTU chairman Abduljalil Al Durazi.

"Bahraini law does not support this claim and the union has not complied with the mandates specified in union law."

Site manager Tommy Almquist warns in the letter that anyone who takes part will be sacked.

"Dyncorp International will consider all employees who participate as having made a deliberate, individual choice to support an illegal action against the company," he says.

"Employees participating in this strike will be terminated."

The company also claims the strike has been declared illegal by the Labour Ministry and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions.

However, Mr Al Durazi said the strike would go ahead as planned.

Employees of the company called off a previous strike three months ago to make way for amicable negotiations, but claim that nothing has been done since.

The company reinstated the annual pay rise, but said it is not legally required to provide equal food allowance and would do so if given instructions by the Labour Ministry.

Mr Al Durazi has claimed Dyncorp should pay Bahraini workers the same food allowance as expatriate workers according to article 111 of the Labour Law.

Dyncorp International is a Texas-based company that provides technical services to the US Naval Support Activity (NSA) in Bahrain. Site manager Tommy Almquist has previously told the GDN he is not authorised to comment on the issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Worker strike and repression in an US compagny   Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:15 am

41 strike workers reinstated !

Quote :

Strike workers are reinstated

FORTY-ONE of 44 Bahraini workers employed by an American company will return to work today, nearly two weeks after they were sacked for participating in an "illegal" strike.

Dyncorp International has so far refused to reinstate three others it claims were the alleged ringleaders who instigated the strike on August 14.

They include Dyncorp Workers Trade Union (DWTU) chairman Abduljalil Al Durazi, union finance secretary Yasin Hasan Juma and member Riyadh Ismail.

Mr Al Durazi said the reinstated workers would resume work today, but would also participate in talks with the management and Labour Ministry officials to insist on taking back the remaining three employees.

Up to 60 of the Bahraini employees at Dyncorp are said to have participated in the strike, which began on August 14, demanding equal food allowances to those given to Asian workers.

Of those, 44 were given letters of termination on the strike's second day and the company has not yet met the demands of the Bahraini employees.

"The company has clearly violated a new law that prevents office-bearers of trade unions from being sacked," said Mr Al Durazi.

"We will be in talks with them today to take the three of us back and if they refuse, we have a right to go to court."

He claimed the workers' protest against not being paid a monthly food allowance of BD53 was justified.

"We had a fair demand and they had not listened so we had to resort to a strike," said Mr Al Durazi.

He said the protest has now been called off after assurances from the Labour Ministry that the issue would be settled, but said the employees had not given up their demands for equal food allowances.

Dyncorp International, which provides technical services to the US Naval Support Activity (NSA) in Bahrain, also held talks with Labour Ministry officials and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) representatives.

The company has claimed the strike was illegal and accused the employees of making the "deliberate individual choice to support an illegal action against the company".

There are reportedly around 80 Bahrainis employed by the company along with around 45 Asians.

Dyncorp International site manager Tommy Almquist said he had no comment on the three workers who have not yet been reinstated.

"We have a meeting today and we will leave it at that," he said.

"The company is pleased that as a result of consultations with the Labour Ministry and separate discussions with the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, selected former employees who went on an illegal strike on August 14 are being offered reinstatement."

Gulf Daily News, 27 August 2006
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PostSubject: Re: Worker strike and repression in an US compagny   Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:03 am

41 Bahrainis walk out in new protest

Quote :
FORTY-ONE Bahrainis, who returned to work yesterday after two weeks on strike, walked out again almost immediately claiming they had been asked to sign new contracts.

The employees of Dyncorp International, in Juffair, claimed they were also expected to start afresh - including working for three months on probation.

They have now given the company three days to come up with a reply before planning their next step.

However, company site manager Tommy Almquist denied the allegations yesterday and said he thought there had been a "misunderstanding".

"There is no new agreement," he said. "There is no new probation period.

"I am sure there has been a translation gaffe and someone has not given the correct picture to the employees."

The workers had agreed to return after a Labour Ministry brokered agreement on Saturday.

Around 60 employees went on strike on August 14 demanding food allowances similar to those given to Asian employees.

Of those, 44 were given letters of termination on the strike's second day following management warnings that it was illegal and they would be sacked.

Dyncorp Workers Trade Union (DWTU) chairman Abduljalil Al Durazi was adamant that the 41 workers walked out yesterday because they were told a probation period would be imposed.

He also claims the company has refused to pay the workers for the duration of the strike.

"The agreement clearly stated we would return on the same terms and conditions and negotiations would be held on the food allowance," he said.

He claimed that when the employees reported for work, they were handed agreements and told to sign.

"Though the terms, conditions and the salaries are the same as the earlier agreement, there is a three-month probation period," he said.

He added that none of the employees agreed to the terms and refused to sign.

"If we had done so, we would have been at their mercy for three months," he said.

"They could get rid of us at any time."

Mr Al Durazi is one of three workers who went on strike that the company has refused to take back.

"Earlier, we agreed that 41 of the 44 would return and discussions would be held about the fate of the other three," he said.

"We are now adamant that all 44 of us should be taken back on the same contracts, as well as receive an additional BD53 monthly food allowance."

The striking workers had claimed they were entitled to the food allowance, which until now has only been paid to expat staff.

Mr Almquist did not comment on the issue of whether or not striking workers had been paid.

However, he said the decision of the company not to take back three employees who allegedly masterminded the strike was based solely on reports they had received from the employees' supervisors.

"They have given us a report and taking into consideration other issues like discipline, we have decided not to take them back," he said.

Head of labour inspections at the Labour Ministry, Ahmed Al Khabbas, reportedly held discussions with the employees and company management yesterday, but was unavailable for comment.

Dyncorp International is a Texas-based company that provides technical services to the US Naval Support Activity (NSA) in Bahrain.

Around 80 Bahrainis and 45 Asians were reportedly employed by the company before the strike.

Gulf Daily News, 28th August 2006
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