VIDEO: AFL-CIO Director of International Affairs Says Bahrainis Suffered for Sake of Democracy

2016-03-07 - 9:13 p

Bahrain Mirror: Cathy Feingold, AFL-CIO Director of International Affairs, delivered a recorded speech on the occasion of the third general conference of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions that kicked off its first session on Saturday (March 5, 2016).

Feingold apologized for not being able to take part in the conference and said: "Your brothers and sisters in the American Labor Movement here at the AFL-CIO send their solidarity and support for the many ways in which you are fighting for workers rights in Bahrain."

She further stated that the AFL-CIO is proud of the relationship between the two organizations and the "partnership we have with you and our close allies at the solidarity center".

Addressing the trade unions, Feingold said: "Your efforts to defend the rights of the Bahraini workers in a very difficult environment are an inspiration to many of us."

"Bahrainis have faced violent government crackdowns on freedoms of speech and assembly and they have been arbitrarily arrested or fired for saying that Bahrain should be governed by the democratic will of the people," she stressed.

The AFL-CIO Director also saw that "in a country where workers are struggling to find employment and the fundamental cost of life, lifting subsidies and necessities like water and electricity, buying new fleets of BMW for the ministry officials is not okay."

"Teargas, torture and violence can't silence the struggle of workers to be free. Together we know that the united voice in collective power of worker democracy can't be defeated," she further stated.

Feingold also noted: "In the United States, unions watched with admiration as people of Bahrain peacefully stood up to social justice and worker rights in spite of the inflammatory speech, violence and intimidation, the GFBTU has continued fighting for its members livelihoods through power of negotiation, peaceful demonstration and commitment to the principle of democracy, regardless of religion, national origin, economic status or gender, the GFBTU has been the real voice of the workers' rights inside Bahrain. And for that we salute you."

"The AFL-CIO will continue to stand by you for many years to come," she added. AFL-CIO Director wished the GFBTU a very successful conference "as well as success in your campaign for justice and peace for workers and people of Bahrain."

Arabic version


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