Despite the low salaries for employees with certain skin colours and backgrounds (Bahrainis included) in the Kingdom of Bahrain, I would like to argue today that Bahrain seems to be the best place to be employed in!!

You may ask why. Of course, you should. Some Businessmen and citizens in Bahrain are renowned for their atrocious track record in treating foreign workers. Any employee who is not ready to toil day and night, all year long, is quickly bundled up and sent back to his country on the earliest and cheapest flight - ensuring of course that it takes the most complicated route, no doubt!!

In a country run on slavery and cheap labour, workers are finally breathing a sigh of relief, thanks to the many many holidays.

This weekend, workers get a four-day bonanza...or do they? National Day falls on December 16 and 17, which fall on Thursday and Friday. As a result, they will be compensated and given Saturday and Sunday off...or will they??

The Prime Minister's edict was clear. I read it in Arabic and English and Arabic again. It specifically says the four-day National Day holiday is for the public and private sectors. It is, in fact, the first time that the private sector is mentioned.

But does it apply to the first two days or the second two days, since not all private sector companies give their employees the benefit of a five-day week?
What about banks which are closed on Saturday? Should they now compensate their staff and give them Monday off because Saturday was declared a holiday?
I don't know and I really don't want to know.

The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry added insult to injury by refusing to go on the record and tell private sector companies what the Prime Ministerial edict means.

It has unilaterally issued a statement in the Press saying that IT (The Chamber) will be closed Thursday and Friday and Saturday. It will reopen on Sunday!!!

When HH Shaikh Zayed died last month, the Chamber landed itself in hot water by declaring that the holiday was for the public sector and not the private sector! The Cabinet retaliated by saying that the Chamber had no authority to decide when there are holidays in Bahrain!!!

Well... very democratic, I see. Businessmen are being told how to run their businesses..but this isn't the issue now.

The issue is the poor worker. Now, we all know that people are happy with holidays. In fact, the case here is: the more, the merrier! We all know that many staff in private companies will not report to work on Sunday! We also know that all employers would want them to be on their desks on Sunday or they will have to pay the price dearly...soon!!

This situation is what makes Bahrain what it is today. This confusion is normal.

There isn't a policy and there isn't anyone strong enough to stand up and demand AN ANSWER.

The businessmen are too worried about their interests to turn around and ask the Cabinet what exactly does this holiday edict mean. They will not want to be seen as so stupid to ask the obvious.

They want to continue to nod and smile and kiss noses! Asking a question may cause an embarrassment. Of course, no businessman should put himself in this position.
Let the workers suffer. Yes. They deserve it.

The idiots will go to work on Sunday. The rest will have a day's pay cut from their salaries!

So much for transparency!!


Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

Very interesting, I didn't realise that until I got the following email from the Chamber:
التاريخ :


Date :

الرقم :


Ref :

حضرات السادة الأفاضل / أعضاء غرفة تجارة وصناعة البحرين المحترمين.

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته ،،،

تعميم عطلة العيد الوطني

بمناسبة العيد الوطني المجيد لمملكة البحرين لعام 2004، تعلن غرفة تجارة وصناعة البحرين بأنها سوف تعطل أعمالها يومي الخميس والجمعة 16- 17 ديسمبر 2004، وحيث أن العطلة تصادف يوم عطلة اسبوعية هو يوم الجمعة فيعوض عنه بيوم السبت 18 ديسمبر 2004 .

وتفضلوا بقبول خالص التحية والاحترام ,

أحمد نجم عبدالله النجم

الرئيس التنفيذي

That's good, so we're OFFICIALLY back to work on Sunday. I just told my employees that and they were thrilled!

Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

(sorry about the formatting, it was just a copy and paste)

So is this the real start of businessmen actually standing up to government in order for them to be counted? At least the BCCI? I hope so, it has been a useless appendage so far.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Lucky you Mahmood. Dedicated staff.
We had a mini-coup in our office, led by modest me!
We read and understood the edict our way.
It is officially a day off on Sunday. Those who work will be compensated!!!
Management agreed.
End of story.
He who goes back on his word is not a man!!

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Believe it or not!!
Our MOTHER company actually issued a circular on Wednesday announcing that staff should return to work on Sunday!!
Well...because i respect my people and I have already announced that Sunday is a HOLIDAY and I know that people with a life have already made plans for that, Sunday continues to be a NATIONAL HOLIDAY in my office. Staff who choose to come to work on their day off will be COMPENSATED with another day's leave, as per our company regulations!!
This is my national day gift to my colleagues!! We can make individual decisions in our own departments? Or can't we?
Would be nice if the chairman strolls into my department on Sunday!! hehehe

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