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United States Seeks to Protect Worker Rights Under US-Bahrain Trade Agreement


World  (tags: society, politics, usa, government, labor, law, abuse, business, corporate, 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', middle-east, humanrights, HumanRights, GoodNews, freedoms, ethics, world )

JL
- 505 days ago - dol.gov
he request follows a December 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Labor that highlighted labor issues stemming from the Government of Bahrain's response to civil unrest in early 2011 in Bahrain and recommended actions to address those issues.



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JL A. (275)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 10:03 am
United States seeks to protect worker rights under US-Bahrain trade agreement

WASHINGTON Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris and acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis today announced that the United States has requested consultations with the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain under the Labor Chapter of the United States Bahrain Free Trade Agreement. The request follows a December 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Labor that highlighted labor issues stemming from the Government of Bahrain's response to civil unrest in early 2011 in Bahrain and recommended actions to address those issues. The report is available at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/otla/20121220Bahrain.pdf.

"Our sincere hope is that these consultations will produce a concrete plan of action, based on the recommendations in the Labor Department's report, which will strengthen labor protections in Bahrain and help prevent future violations of workers' rights," said acting Secretary Harris.

"Ensuring that workers in Bahrain and in other countries can exercise their fundamental labor rights is a top priority for the Obama administration, and we expect that the action we are taking today will produce a collaborative discussion and positive resolution to these important labor issues," said Ambassador Marantis. "We look forward to working with Bahrain to improve respect for labor rights through the mechanisms provided by our trade agreement."

The United States is seeking consultations to discuss actions taken by Bahrain that appear to be inconsistent with the Labor Chapter of the FTA. Specifically, the Labor Department's report details the apparent targeting of trade unionists and leaders for firing after a general strike in March 2011, employment discrimination based on religious (sectarian) identity or political opinion, and labor laws that do not provide adequate protection on these issues. The report recognizes that the Bahraini government, in particular the minister of labor, has taken important steps to address labor concerns following the unrest in 2011 by seeking the reinstatement of fired workers, but finds that problems remain with Bahraini labor laws as well as the treatment of certain reinstated workers. A copy of the letter is available at http://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/05072013%20Bahrain%20labor%20consultations%20request.pdf.

Background

The U.S. Department of Labor issued the report on Dec. 20, 2012, in response to a submission filed by the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations regarding the Government of Bahrain's commitments under the Labor Chapter of the United States-Bahrain FTA. The AFL-CIO submission alleged that Bahrain had acted inconsistently with its labor obligations under the FTA in its response to civil unrest and national strikes in early 2011. The Labor Department's report found that, although the Government of Bahrain has taken important steps to address some of the labor issues arising from the 2011 unrest, including actions by the minister of labor to seek reinstatement of most of the workers fired, the United States should request FTA labor consultations to develop a plan with Bahrain to address remaining concerns. The FTA Labor Chapter stipulates that consultations shall commence within 30 days of a written request from either party to the trade agreement, unless both parties agree otherwise.

Full report at:
http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/otla/20121220Bahrain.pdf
 

Carol D. (109)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 1:35 pm
Surprised to find out they have any laws like labour ones
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 2:20 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last day.
 

Terry V. (30)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 3:37 pm
noted
 

John B. (215)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 8:43 pm
Thanks JL for the post and Kudos to Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris and acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis for their action.These injustices need to be addressed immediately. Read and noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 8:58 pm
You are welcome John. I agree and also see this as a reason why the nominees for these positions should not be getting fillibustered and equivalent in the Senate.You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last day.
 

cathie S. (154)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 10:14 pm
TYVM NOTED
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 10:16 pm
You are very welcome Cat
 

Lynn D. (0)
Monday May 13, 2013, 6:30 am
noted - very interesting, thanks for sharing with us!
 

JL A. (275)
Monday May 13, 2013, 7:22 am
You are welcome Lynn. You cannot currently send a star to Lynn because you have done so within the last day.
 

Ben Oscarsito (334)
Monday May 13, 2013, 9:53 am
Bahrain is a Human Rights failure - that's it!
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/28/bahrain-no-progress-reform
 

Birgit W. (145)
Monday May 13, 2013, 1:31 pm
Noted.
 

Patsy Olive (0)
Monday May 13, 2013, 7:25 pm
noted.
 

Stuart Thomas (510)
Monday May 13, 2013, 10:31 pm
Noted. Thank you, JL
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 6:43 am
You are welcome Stuart,
 
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