Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain Issues Statement on the Release of the U.S. Department of Labor Report on the FTA Submission

Dec 20, 2012, 09:19 ET from Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain issued the following statement in response to the release of the U.S. Department of Labor's report on the FTA submission:

The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has just received the extensive report completed by the U.S. Department of Labor.  We will carefully review the report and its recommendations. The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in its commitment to national reconciliation, has previously taken extraordinary steps to reinstate almost all workers that were dismissed from the public and private sectors for their failure to attend work during the period of political events in Bahrain in February/March 2011.

The issues raised in this Department of Labor report with regard to the dismissals have also already been largely reviewed by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and addressed in their report released in November 2011, more than a year ago.  The Government of Bahrain has also provided detailed reports on these developments to the International Labour Organization since November 2011, and coordinated with two staff missions from the ILO to Bahrain on this same matter.  The Government of Bahrain was positively recognized by the Governing Body of the ILO in March 2012 for the progress made on the reinstatements, and further informed the Governing Body at its November 2012 meeting of additional results achieved.

The extraordinary governmental process on reinstatements in Bahrain chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and involving much of the Cabinet has been finalized, with some 98 percent of the more than 4600 workers involved either reinstated, re-employed, or otherwise having their cases resolved.  Any remaining issues involving these workers will be handled through the normal administrative or judicial procedures under the laws of Bahrain. 

It appears that the report of the Department of Labor published today was actually completed last August, and may not contain the most recent available information on the results of this process or the updated data provided.  As we stated previously in this matter, we do not believe that there is any violation of obligations under the labor chapter of the free trade agreement. We look forward to again providing the relevant information to the U.S. Government. 

SOURCE Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain