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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=Labour rage. Sorry for the trouble.

Labour rage

Sunday, March 27, 2005

From today's GDN:

Workers go on rampage after suicide

MANAMA: Workers of a top garment factory went on a rampage last night following the death of a colleague. More than 500 Asians working for the MRS Fashions, which makes trousers for J C Penny, started damaging the factory's East Riffa premises after their colleague, who was kept in isolation for 15 days due to chicken pox, committed suicide. (Continued)

There aren't enough details to be able to comment on this specific case. But here is a general message to the government and the business community: Wake up! Migrant workers make up 35% of the resident population. If safeguards to protect the rights of these workers are not introduced soon, this could blow up into something far far worse. Homer wrote a post a while back postulating what the consequences might be in extreme circumstances. I wrote a post in reponse to his which you can read here.

Anyways, if all of these migrant workers were to organize themselves and hold a general strike or something, it would have a substantial impact on the economy. (I certainly hope that the violence that occurred yesterday is never repeated). This isn't an immediate threat, but steps to prevent it need to be taken now before it's too late. Most important I think is to make sure that workers are paid on time, and that defaulting employers are punished.

See also: Power to the people and The expat files.

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