Bahrain firm reinstates staff sacked after unrest – Bahrain Freedom Movement

12/01/2012 – 7:03 p | Hits: 209

an 12 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s main telecommunications firm on Thursday said it would re-employ workers sacked after strikes connected to pro-democracy protests, the second company to do so in as many days.

More than 2,000 mainly Shi’ite workers were sacked from state-controlled companies last year for taking part in strikes and protests against perceived discrimination and the dominance of the ruling Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa family.

Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) will take back axed workers “who agree to abide by Bahrain’s labour law and Batelco internal policies”, chairman Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdulla al-Khalifa said in a statement.

Despite moves to ease tensions, unrest continues in the Gulf island state. Shi’ites and police clash almost daily outside the capital, Manama.

A Labour Ministry committee had put pressure on the company after a ministry review found that 102 of the 172 Batelco staff who lost their jobs had been illegally dismissed.

Bahrain, base for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has also been under international pressure to reinstate Shi’ite workers.

A commission of international lawyers set up by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to investigate the unrest said in November that many Bahrainis had been unfairly dismissed. The government promised to implement its recommendations.

Bahrain’s Formula One circuit, due to host a race in April after the 2011 edition was cancelled, reinstated staff on Wednesday. (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Ben Harding)

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