Saturday, May 14, 2011
Part four in our exclusive series on Bahrain examines how government pressure is forcing employers to fire workers.
"More than 2,000 private sector employees, most of them Shia, have either been sacked or suspended in an expanding Bahraini crackdown on anti-government protests, an Al Jazeera investigation has found.
The General Federation of Bahrain's Trade Unions puts the figure of those who have been fired at 1,300, with Bahraini rights groups reporting that hundreds more have been suspended from their government jobs.
The International Labour Organisation says that the number of people dismissed or suspended currently stands at over 2,000.
Al Jazeera spoke to a number of people who had been fired in recent weeks. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing government reprisals.
One man said that lawyers asked him questions related to anti-government protests the day he was fired.....
The turning point for this side of the crackdown came when labour unions called a general strike on March 13. Under Bahraini law, companies are within their rights to terminate the employment of staff members who miss days of work above and beyond a specified period of unexcused leave.
Another man who lost his job told Al Jazeera that he was struggling to support his family. He said that the mass dismissals were completely unexpected....."