Saudi Trade Unions.
I can’t remember the media, mainstream or otherwise, ever covering trade unionism in Saudi Arabia, which is a serious omission, so I think it is very important to support Yahya Al-Faifi.
His Facebook supporters argue:
” 1. Yahya Al Faifi was persecuted in Saudi Arabia for conducting trade union activities, where trade unions are illegal. he and fled to the UK.
2. The Home Office has refused the application for refugee status of Yahya, his wife and children and has ordered them to return to Saudi Arabia.
3. Yahya is a Saudi Arabian trade unionist and engineer who organised a trade union in BAE Systems in 2004,
We are asking you to to support the appeal to defend Yahya Al-Faifi, an exiled Saudi Arabian trade unionist who has sought asylum in Britain after fleeing persecution in Saudi Arabia.
Yayha is now a member of the Communication Workers Union in the UK.
The Home Office has refused the application for refugee status of Yahya, his wife and children and has ordered them to return to Saudi Arabia. Yahya is appealing this decision. His appeal will be held on January 22nd.
Yahya is a Saudi Arabian trade unionist and engineer who organised a trade union in BAE Systems in 2004, after the company announced they were cutting pay by 40%. Over 500 workers turned up to the first union meeting. But Yahya and two others were then sacked by BAE Systems.
Yahya kept up the fight over a period of months. The case got considerable media coverage. However, when Yahya refused to give up the fight, he received repeated threats and finally was warned that he should leave the country immediately. Otherwise “the safety of his family could not be guaranteed”.
The Home Office is basically saying that Yahya can’t show any evidence for the threats he says he received. They disregard the fact that trade unions are illegal in Saudi Arabia and opponents of the monarchical dictatorship are regularly arrested, tortured, executed or “disappeared”.
Yahya and his family have been forced to leave a settled life in Saudi Arabia for a much harder life as an asylum seeker in Britain. He would never have done that if he hadn’t believed he and his family were in extreme danger.
Yahya made a stand in defence of trade unionism in Saudi Arabia and put his life and the safety of his family at risk. He urgently needs the support of trade unionists to defend him against being sent back to face the oppression of the tyrannical Saudi regime.
We are appealing for all trade union organisations to immediately:
1.Write to the Home Office to support Yahya’s appeal and to demand that Yahya’s application for refugee status in Britain is accepted.
All letters should be sent to:
Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP,
Secretary of State for the Home Department,
3rd Floor, Peel Buildings,
2 Marsham Street,
e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also send a copy to:
Defend Yahya Al-Faifi Campaign
C/o 144 Commercial Street,
e mail email@example.com
2. Raise it with union-sponsored MPs to contact the Home Secretary to support Yahya’s appeal “