Yahya Al-Faifi is a trade unionist from Saudi Arabia, a country with a horrific human rights record and where trade unions are illegal. After he and his family were threatened for his organising, he fled the country in 2004. Settling in south Wales, he has continued his trade union work with the Communication Workers Union, and has been made an honorary member of the National Union of Mineworkers.
Yahya was sacked by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia for his part in leading a successful struggle in 2002 to defend workers from the termination of their contracts and the imposition of new contracts with a 40% cut in pay. Over 500 workers turned up to the first union meeting and all 2000 workers won their contracts back, except for Yahya and two others who were fired. Despite winning his case at an employment tribunal and £30,000 compensation, when he continued to fight for his re-instatement and trade union rights, he received repeated threats. In July 2004 he was warned that he should leave Saudi Arabia otherwise
“the safety of his family could not be guaranteed”
Yahya, his wife and children are facing deportation back to Saudi Arabia as the UK Border Agency have refused his application for refugee status. He urgently needs support, if forced to return all indications are that he will face a serious and potentially life-threatening attack.
What you can do to help defend Yahya and his family
- Demonstrate: On Thursday 19th February at 2pm there will be a lobby of the Home Secretary in Whitehall. This will be a labour and trade union movement event with banners, large numbers and as wide representation as possible.
- Collect signatures for the petition
- Write to the Home Office:(quoting ref: A1236316) to demand that Yahya’s application for refugee status in Britain is accepted, you can amend this model letter if needed. either by email, or send the letter to; Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department, 3rd Floor, Peel Buildings, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.