Asians halt Bahrain strike after pay deal: union


Hundreds of Asian labourers have agreed to stop a week-long strike in Bahrain after their employer agreed to give them a small pay rise, a union official said on Saturday.

"The strike is over... the employer agreed to raise basic salaries by BHD15 (Dh146)," said Sayyed Salman, assistant secretary general of Bahrain's general union of workers.

"Representatives of the workers have informed us that they have accepted the deal," he told AFP.

Around 1,300 migrant workers helping to build a luxury coastal development - Durrat Al Bahrain - in the south of the wealthy Gulf archipelago, went on strike on February 9 to demand higher wages.

They were demanding that salaries for non-qualified labourers be increased from $151 (Dh555) to $265 a month and from $183 (Dh672) to $319 for qualified labourers.

Salman said the 15-dinar rise will be given to both qualified and non-qualified workers.

Durrat Al Bahrain - the Arabic for "Pearl of Bahrain" - is a multi-billion-dollar residential and commercial development consisting of 15 man-made islands set out in the shape of a necklace.

Bahrain has about 270,000 expatriate workers who are mostly from the Asian sub-continent and employed mainly in unskilled jobs.

Workers employed in non-vital sectors are permitted to strike in Bahrain, unlike in other Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but foreigners are not members of local labour unions. (AFP)

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