The AFT Support Labour Rights in Iraq

Special Order on Labor Rights in Iraq
Adopted by the American Federation of Teachers Executive Council

Whereas the Iraqi government has recently stepped up its attacks on Iraqi unions by

– Bringing criminal charges against oil worker union leaders for “undermining the economy of Iraq” and “conspiring to organize for labor rights” because of their opposition to the privatization of Iraqi oil and other resources, and their agitation for a new labor law, threatening these leaders with three year prison terms
– Implementing a program of internal exile that has reassigned to distant cities union leaders who lead strikes and other worker actions
– Banning all union leaders from international travel without prior government approval , and

Whereas these attacks are in response to continuing Iraqi union action to protect workers and secure the still-delayed passage of a labor law that meets core ILO standards, and

Whereas the Iraqi government continues to enforce Saddam Hussein’s 1987 ban on unions in the public sector and public enterprises (80% of all workers), and has frozen union bank accounts, and

Whereas the AFT and many of its affiliate locals have welcomed Iraqi union leaders in this country and have supported Iraqi labor rights through past resolutions and actions, and

Whereas the AFL-CIO and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have taken note of these developments, support the legitimate demands of the Iraqi workers, and registered protests, therefore be it

Resolved that the AFT registers its strong objection to these violations and asks our leadership to send this resolution to President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and the Iraqi ambassador to the United States, with a request that they act to reverse these policies and secure full labor rights for Iraqi workers, and be it further

Resolved that the AFT participate, and encourage its locals and state affiliates to participate, in joint campaigns with the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center and other labor bodies to pressure Congress and the U.S. administration to take all appropriate steps to help secure full labor rights for Iraqi workers.