Unions in Iraq: Solidarity of Action


Four trade union structures ( please see signatures below) met in Basra to state their official position of the fake workers election conducted by the so-called preparatory committee set up by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The preparatory committee invited a group of individuals—less than a dozen- who have no trade union affiliations to a meeting behind closed doors to conspire to appoint an executive trade union body—through fake election- for the Basra GFIW.

In view of that the meeting condemns this opportunistic move which is endorsed and certainly blessed by the government of [Iraq].  The meeting reports the following:

1-     The preparatory committee falsified election by inviting few individuals with no trade union credentials instead of the current GFIW executive of Basra.

2-     This process is a mean to delude working people that the GFIW is the only trade union structure in Iraq. And thus to claim that workers election is about democracy is wrong. It is a mean to oppose trade union pluralism.

The signatures of this meeting (unions+ federations in Basra) and in defence of trade union pluralism and democratic trade union movement declare:

1-        The meeting condemns the establishment of the official preparatory committee which interfered blatantly in the internal affairs of unions and put obstacles to impede the free formation of trade union organizations which is a clear violation of international conventions such as Convention No 87 of 1048.

2-        The meeting condemns government interferences in the affairs of the unions and; condemns those who are working—with government blessing and protection—to sabotage the work of free and democratic trade unionism.  

3-        The meeting condemns the government use of the former regime notorious anti union law such as law 150 of 1987 that constrained and inhibit trade union activities in key active Iraqi [public] sector

4-        The meeting deplores the [defunct] Governing Council Resolution No 3 of 2004. A resolution that worked to impede the development of trade union organizations.

The meting also demands:

1-     the meeting demands that the government respects its responsibility towards national trade unionism especially the rights to form and join unions in both the private and public sectors  and right to free assembly and demonstration. The meeting would like to remind the government of its responsibility to respect its international obligations toward conventions 87 and 98 of 1948.

2-      The meeting demands that the government stop the blatant interferences by dominant political parties and militias in order to politicize trade unionism and attempts to dominate it.

3-     The meeting demands the abolishment of decisions made by the [defunct] Governing Council and the occupation government[s] and also the government refrains from using the former regime anti union law against the labour movement in Iraq.

4-     Speed up the process for the enactment of a fair and just labour law that respect workers rights and guarantee freedom of trade union organizations, assembly and demonstration and strike and prevent government interferences and the domination of government backed political parties.

5-     The involvement of all unions in Iraq without exception in any discussion relates to law that effects workers whether being prepared by government or parliament in order to ensure that workers views are included.

Based on the outcome of the meeting and as a result of trade union solidarity among the unions and federations present at this meeting it is decided to form a coordinating committee from he participants to lead solidarity struggle for workers rights.

Long live Iraq

Long live the trade union movement in Iraq

Friday 22 June 2012

General Federation of Iraqi Workers In Basra (GFIW)

General Federation of trade Unions and Workers Councils in Basra

Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU)

Union of Engineering in Southern Electricity Sector.