“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Iraqi Trade Unions.

with one comment

I can’t even begin to imagine how hostile the internal regime in Iraq is for trade unionists, Harry Barnes has pointed out a recent TUC statement on the Iraqi governments use of anti-union laws from Saddam Hussein’s era:

“TUC slams Iraqi government at ILO

The TUC has launched a five point attack on the Iraqi government for its harassment of trade unions at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) committee on standards today (Wednesday).

Addressing the committee in support of complaints from Iraqi trade unionists, ILO Governing Body member Simon Steyne of the TUC condemned the Iraqi government for:

using Saddam Hussein’s laws to ban public sector trade unionism;

introducing a new law to freeze union bank accounts and allow the government to interfere in union internal affairs;

repeatedly failing to adopt an ILO-compliant labour law for several years to replace the anti-union Decrees;

demanding elections inside Iraqi unions this summer on the government’s terms, including disenfranchising public sector workers, prohibiting non-Iraqi citizens from standing for elections, and requiring candidates to secure the support of their employers; and

relocating leaders of an Iraqi oil union specifically to disrupt the union which has consistently opposed oil privatisation.

Simon Steyne said:

‘These actions are being taken by a Government that says it is too busy fighting terrorism to implement the ILO-compliant labour law, which would stop these labour rights violations. We empathise with the struggle for peace in Iraq. But it is strange that a Government too busy fighting violence should spend so much time and effort harassing one of the few institutions which unites workers regardless of tribal, ethnic or religious boundaries and is committed to women’s emancipation and the creation of a peaceful and prosperous Iraq. It is certainly too busy with its Oil Law – no doubt a reason for its unwillingness to allow free trade unions in the sector.’ “

Written by modernityblog

05/06/2008 at 20:12

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Everyone involved in the union movement should get behind Iraq’s unions.
    If the bloodshed and regime change is to have any positive outcomes, the society that comes from the ashes needs to be filled with empowered individuals.
    In the current issue of Engage magazine, TUC Aid talked about the support they are giving to unionism in the country.


    10/03/2009 at 17:49

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