Gulf Air reinstates 14 dismissed workers

November 12, 2018

National and international solidarity played an important role in encouraging Bahrain’s national air carrier Gulf Air to reinstate 14 aviation workers and union activists who were dismissed for exercising their routine union activities.

The ITF wrote to the carrier’s Chairman and CEO, calling on the company to reinstate the workers who were dismissed without any particular reason and to work with the union to end the climate of fear that had been created.

In a letter of 2 November, ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez wrote: “In recent years the Kingdom of Bahrain and Gulf Air have taken good steps towards improving worker and human rights which has reflected well globally. Therefore we are surprised to see that Gulf Air has taken a step back from this progressive path and has changed towards becoming an anti-union company.”

Gulf Air workers were dismissed on 31 October soon after the company breached a number of agreed and customary practices such as moving the location of the union office as well as intervening in the means of union fee collection.

Meanwhile, Bilal Milwaki, head of the ITF Arab World Offices were following the situation closely and giving solidarity support to their the Gulf Air Trade Union (GATU) and the Flight Attendants General Trade Union (FAGTU) colleagues in order to put pressure on the company to make a decision in favour of these workers.

Finally, on 4 November, the company reinstated all dismissed workers to their jobs.

In a letter of appreciation dated 7 November, both unions noted: “We GATU and FAGTU are proud that we belong to the ITF, we thank you for your continuous support and will keep you updated with any developments.”

“This is the result of workers’ courage and national and international solidarity of the trade union movement. With our Arab World Office we will closely monitor the developments and keep on supporting our colleagues in Bahrain in their effort to establish positive labour relations at the carrier,” Gabriel Mocho commented.

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