Update on raid on IFTU HQ – still closed after a month

On 6 December 2003, the IFTU issued an statement condemning the attack by
American occupation military forces on its temporary headquarters (at the
headquarters of the Transport and Communication Union, in Karkh, Allawi Al
Hilla, Baghdad), which led to the arrest of 8 IFTU leaders who were later
released unharmed.
On 8 December 2003, the IFTU Executive Bureau sent a delegation to the Iraqi
Governing Council (IGC) and met Dr Mohammod Uthman, IGC member. The
delegation informed him in detail about the attack and handed him a
statement condemning this unjustified act and calling for compensation for
damages inflicted upon our colleagues and IFTU possessions.
The statement also demanded an apology from the local US military commander
who led the attack, and commitments that such act should never happen again
against an important organization of civil society. The statement also
reminded the American authorities not to listen to remnants of Saddam
regime.
Unfortunately, nothing has so far happened. Our head office is still closed.
The IGC did not do enough. Iraqi political parties and Iraqi public
personalities did not show solidarity and support with IFTU in these
difficult times.


However, we would like to thank our friends in the international labour
movement for their support and solidarity with IFTU and their condemnation
of this terrorizing act. Among the labour organisations that sent letters of
support and solidarity we mention the following:
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
The International Labour Organization (ILO)
The Scottish TUC and its General Secretary, Bill Speirs
The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and its General Secretary, Bob
Crow
Harry Barnes, British Labour MP
The CGIL, Italy
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
International Metalworkers Federation (IMF)
Labour Start.
Executive Bureau
IFTU
5 January 2003
Proposed Early Day Motion to be tabled by Harry Barnes MP
That this House notes that no explanation, apology or compensation has so
far been proffered by the US military authorities in Iraq for the
unjustified raid on 6 December 2003 on the temporary headquarters in Baghdad
of the Iraqi Federation of Workers’ Trade Unions (IFTU) which led to the
arrest of 8 IFTU leaders who were later released; congratulates a wide range
of organisations around the world such as the International Confederation of
Free Trade Unions, the International Labour Organization, the Scottish TUC,
the RMT union, the Labour Start web site, the Italian CGIL, the
International Metalworkers’ Federation and the Congress of South African
Trade Unions for showing solidarity with the fledgling independent Iraqi
trade union movement; regrets that the Iraqi Governing Council and Iraqi
political parties failed to act to defend such an important part of the new
civil society in Iraq; agrees with the IFTU on the need for an apology from
the local US military commander who led the attack, commitments that such
act should never happen again, and compensation for damages inflicted on
IFTU personnel and possessions; and endorses its appeal for the American
authorities not to be further misled by remnants of Saddam regime about the
new trade union movement.