General Federation of Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain

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Full name General Federation of Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain
Founded 2002
Affiliation none
Country Bahrain

The General Federation of Workers Trade Unions in Bahrain (GFWTUB) is a national trade union federation in Bahrain. It was established in 2002 when the King created the Workers Trade Union Law granting workers the right to organize collectively.[1]

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions' Annual Survey 2005 highlighted: "Bahrain, a bright spot in an otherwise dismal landscape of persistent labour rights violations in the Middle East".[2] According to the ICFTU:

Bahrain has set the standard for the Gulf region in terms of positive developments. The right to form trade unions has existed since 2002, although only one national trade union centre is recognised, and other rights are still limited. The General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions held its founding congress in January 2004 and in December became the first organisation in the Gulf States to become a member of the ICFTU. It has been actively involved in tripartite discussions, including on labour legislation.[3]

In October 2006, King Hamad signed a law banning the sacking of employees engaged in trade union activities. Under an amended law, the courts must reinstate a sacked worker and award them compensation if it is proved that they were sanctioned for such activities.[4]

The King's move follows criticism by the ICTFU of the sacking in July 2005 of Gulf Air's trade union head shortly after his election.

The establishment of the Federation was part of a number of key labour reforms introduced under the Minister of Labour, Majeed Al Alawi.


  1. ^ ICTUR et al.,, ed. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7. 
  2. ^ "Bahrain, a bright spot...". ICFTU Online. Retrieved 2006-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Bahrain: Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights (2005)". ICFTU Online. Retrieved 2006-10-17. 
  4. ^ "Sackings banned". Gulf Daily News. Retrieved 2006-10-16. 

Further reading[edit]

Trade unions of Bahrain[edit]