Bahrain Mirror: The General Secretary of the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU), Hasan Al Halwachi, commenting on the government's intention to increase the retirement age in the law, said that there was ambiguity and uncertainty in these statements rather than transparency required for such an important matter.
Comparing the environment in Bahrain with the same un other countries, Hasan Al Halwachi added that "we cannot increase the age of retirement as some country, as we have a very tough climate where ambient temperature goes above 45 degree in summer, which is a long period in the year, this is not Europe".
In response to those who said that it was important to increase retirement age for cost cut and for saving, Mr. Hasan said according to the directive of PM Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, there should be no change in people welfares, calling upon all parties to implement these high level directives.
On the percentage of unemployment among youths, which is not less than 20%, Al Halwachi said that such increase will not help absorb the young job seekers in the labor market.
On the other hand, as workers are not represented in the supposedly tripartite governing body of social insurance organization (SIO), which is a clear breach to the law and to the royal decree No3/2008, any change in the rules and regulations is illegitimate without the participation of workers in decision making in SIO, the GFBTU General Secretary added.
"We were expecting positive amendment like enrolment of hundreds of thousands of expat migrant workers in the insurance scheme, which will benefit the workers, but to our surprise we have this news about raising the retirement age," he further noted
Al Halwachi concluded that it is very important to go through the tripartite dialog between the "Government, Employers and Workers" to discuss the future of social insurance and no changes to be imposed by a certain party. He emphasized the fact that insured workers are the biggest and the main stakeholder in the social insurance.