A “voice for Bahraini Pensioners”
National Union for Bahraini Pensioners (NUBP) was formally launched on April 1st, 2014, with a vision of being the ‘voice’ for those who had toiled for the development and betterment of the nation on various fronts.
The Union was officially launched under Bahrain Free labour Unions Federation ( BFLUF) and Alba Labour Union patronage, at the Aluminium Bahrain (Alba Club), in the presence of hundreds of retirees. Unionist delegates from Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Kuwait, Iraq Jordan, Palestine, Yemen and Bahrain attended the ceremony along with General Secretary of International Confederation of Arab trade Union (ICATU), comrade Rajab Mohamed Matouq.
Speaking on this occasion comrade Abdulrahman Shafea chairman of NUBP: “The retired older generation, has nowhere to turn to, in order to get their work-related needs and settlements addressed, as they are no longer part of the various official trade unions, which are meant only for the ‘working’ lot. Here comes in the need for a Pensioners’ Union and hence this venture”
“All national retirees can be a member of the union and like every other union, they are expected to pay a minimal amount of membership fee. The main aim of the union will be to be available as a platform for the pensioners and their problems,” said comrade Shafea. “The Executive Board will plan towards working closely with the Parliament and will seriously look into bringing in changes in existing legislations that are not helpful to the retirees,” he added.
The union will address the needs of both private and public sector pensioners,” he noted, adding that the balancing of the General Insurance percentage of the two sectors will be dealt on priority. “The retirement policies and benefits in private segment vary and depend on the company and its policies.
This also needs unification under the law, apart from a minimum wage scheme, which is highly decisive in terms of the pension amount, the sole income of the pensioners, who often are supporting family members,” he explained.
From his part, comrade Rajab Matouq said “BFLUF had initiated the first-of-its-kind national move, to have a union for the retirees and to link it with the Arab Federation for Pensioners, which is indeed a noble thought and gesture.” Comrade Matouq was astonished there was not a single representative of Bahrain’s government at the event!!
“The humble attempt of BFLUF is to bridge the gap between generations and we feel that there is a need to make the older generation feel that they have people to represent their voice, which has gone feeble over the years,” said Comrade Yaqoub Yousif, chairman of BFLUF.