May 15--FORTY Bahrainis are set to lose their jobs as the Bahrain-based arm of an American military contractor prepares to shut shop.
Dyncorp International, which provides technical services to the US Naval Support Activity (NSA) base in Juffair, has informed its employees of its imminent plans to move its regional base to the UAE.
The company, which has its global headquarters in the US state of Virginia, plans to move out of Bahrain in September.
But the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) says the amount of compensation on offer is inadequate and it is now appealing to the Labour Ministry to step in.
GFBTU private sector assistant secretary Karim Radhi explained to the GDN that under Bahrain's Labour Law, employees get half the compensation in the event of company closure or restructuring that they would if they were unfairly dismissed.
"Compensation for unfair dismissal is two days per service month with a maximum of 12 months," he said.
"This means that the workers in this case will only get one day per service month, which is unfair because some of them have worked there for up to 14 years."
According to Mr Radhi, Dyncorp has already arranged for the payment of its migrant workers and is planning to transfer some of them to its new location in Abu Dhabi.
"But Bahraini workers are still uncertain about their compensation and future career after Dyncorp's closure in Bahrain," he said.
"More than three months ago GFBTU wrote to the Labour Ministry seeking a meeting between the ministry, GFBTU, Dyncorp management and Dyncorp's trade union to reach a fair termination deal -- but we have had no response."
Individuals have also filed court cases on the subject, but there is a concern that if these remain unresolved until September then no one from Dyncorp will be left in Bahrain to represent the company in court.
Mr Radhi said it was important to remember the human faces behind the bare figures.
"Forty workers means 40 families so we shouldn't just do it according to law. These people deserve more," he said.
Dyncorp, which began as an aviation company and operates primarily in that sector, is only the latest in a string of aeronautics companies to exit Bahrain in recent years.
In January 2013, Gulf Air launched a three-year strategy to cut jobs, simplify its fleet and change its destination network -- leaving hundreds jobless.
Only a month afterwards, budget airline Bahrain Air announced it was filing for voluntary liquidation and dissolving its fleet, with hundreds more made redundant.
Then in April 2013 aviation research and repair facility Gulf Technics, which promised jobs for around 350 trainee aviation engineers and technicians, also went into liquidation.
No one from Dyncorp was available for comment when contacted by the GDN yesterday. email@example.com
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