A prominent trade union in the Kingdom yesterday lashed out at companies here for misusing an article in Bahrain’s Labour Law to sack employees in an unfair manner and deny them proper compensations. Urging the government to take strict actions against such practices, Karim Radhi, the General Secretary of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) told Tribune that there is a widespread increase in the number of such cases where the article 110 in the Labour Law No 36/2012 has been misused to lay off workers.
The article, Karim Radhi said, allows companies to downsize in times of financial difficulties but are currently being employed as an ‘excuse’ to fire employees. “Many of the companies are making the plea that it is a matter of restructuring or full or partial closure making laid-off workers eligible for the least compensation which is 12 days per service year with a maximum of 6 months salaries,” GFBTU said in a statement.
The reality, however, is much more serious, Radhi told Tribune, with GFBTU suspecting a foul play where companies are using layoffs as a pretext to hire cheaper labour or to replace Bahraini workers. “We have noticed that some companies have done this,” Radhi said adding: “The question is whether the companies are really having financial difficulties.” “They fired many but only to move on with expansion plans soon after.
They are also using this article to pay workers less compensation,” Radhi claimed “We know that certain sectors such as the construction industry are having difficult times, but this is not the case with many other industries that are actually flourishing.”