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Mon 9 Nov 2009 07:54 AM

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Bahrain dockers call off plan for industrial action

Marine Port Union says 11th hour breakthrough has been made with port companies.

Dockers in Bahrain have called off plans for industrial action at the Khalifa Bin Salman Port, it was reported on Monday.

More than 400 Marine Port Union members were planning to protest at the official opening of the port on Wednesday.

They were demanding a proper negotiation mechanism, transport allowances, shift allowances and health cover and had staged a series of protests, including wearing coloured ribbons to show their discontent, Gulf Daily News reported.

But in an 11th-hour breakthrough, the managements of APM Terminals Bahrain and Svitzer companies have signed a negotiation mechanism with the union, the paper added.

"This is a huge step forward to meeting our demands," union chairman Salman Al Saad told the paper.

"This move opens a new page with the management and allows everyone to start anew."

Earlier this month, it was reported that business leaders and union officials in Bahrain had signed an anti-strike deal to protect the country's economy.

They inked an agreement on Sunday designed to enable employers and workers to talk out differences, without either side resorting to "extreme action".

The memorandum of understanding was signed by the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU).

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