Aviation affiliates urged to speak out for dismissed Gulf Air workers

September 16, 2011

Aviation unions worldwide are being urged to show their support for the 
Bahrain based Gulf Air workers who remain unemployed 5 months after being controversially dismissed. Management has so far refused to negotiate with the 217 workers and has never provided a satisfactory reason for the termination of their employment back in April.

The ITF has set up a solidarity campaign to help demonstrate the strength of global feeling regarding the dismissal of the workers who are members of the General Flight Attendants Union, the aviation arm of ITF affiliate the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU). Amongst those dismissed were union leaders which the GFBTU believes puts Gulf Air in breach of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions.

The ITF made contact with Gulf Air shortly after the sackings when a 
letter was sent to the company chief executive from ITF general secretary David Cockroft. In it the CEO was urged to reconsider Gulf Air’s decision as the dismissals without the opportunity for negotiation showed “a serious departure from the principles of corporate responsibility which were understood to be of major importance to Gulf Air”. A response was received indicating that the company would not be rescinding the dismissals.

In a further development, the King of Bahrain made an address this month recommending to companies, including Gulf Air, that all dismissed workers should be allowed to return to work.

Following this announcement, and with no negotiations forthcoming, the
 general secretary has again contacted the CEO of Gulf Air to put pressure on him to act in accordance with the King’s recommendations. David Cockroft said: “To do otherwise will encourage suspicions of victimisation based on sectarianism and the expression of free speech, and leave Gulf Air in breach, we believe, of international conventions.”

Find out more about this solidarity action and show your support for
 dismissed Gulf Air workers in Bahrain by visiting the dedicated solidarity module.

from ITF news online

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