Iraqi labour movement makes global debut with tough task ahead
Asia – AFP Thu, Dec 09, 2004
By Shingo Ito
BUILDING A GLOBAL UNION MOVEMENT FOR THE FUTURE
MIYAZAKI , JAPAN
5 – 10 DECEMBER 2004
INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS
Iraqi labour unions making their global debut at a conference in Japan are seeking tips on how to make workers aware of rights suppressed for years by Saddam Hussein.
Continue reading IFTU participates at the ICFTU 18th World Congress – Miyazaki, Japan
Miyazaki, Japan, 7th December 2004: Competition amongst developing countries to attract foreign investors is forcing their governments to employ tax breaks and a liberal labour policy with the result of a fast-track to escalating labour abuses, said the ICFTU at the launch of a special report on the second day of its 4 yearly Congress.
Middle East Report Online
The IMF and the Future of Iraq
December 7, 2004
(Zaid Al-Ali practices international commercial arbitration law in Paris and works with Jubilee Iraq, an organization advocating debt relief for Iraq. He is also the editor of http://www.iraqieconomy.org/)
On November 21, 2004, the 19 industrialized nations that make up the so-called Paris Club issued a decision that, in effect, traces the outline of Iraq’s economic future. The decision concerns a portion of Iraq’s $120 billion sovereign debt — a staggering amount that all concerned parties recognize is unsustainable. In their proposal to write off some of the debt, the Paris Club members took advantage of the opportunity to impose conditions that could bind the successor government in Baghdad to policies of free-market fundamentalism.
LEARNING THE TRICKS OF THE TRADE UNIONS
(Saturday 04 December 2004)
Alex Gordon & Richard Bagley
IN FOCUS: ALEX GORDON and RICHARD BAGLEY hear Iraqi trade unionists explain the terrible situation facing activists in the war-torn country
LAST month, trade unionists from Britain extended the hand of solidarity to their fellow workers in Iraq. Six representatives from the occupied country’s largest trade union force, the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), visited Britain as guests of UNISON.
Since its formation in the wake of the Ba’athist regime’s collapse, the IFTU has been fighting on meagre resources to unite Iraq’s workers and get rid of the legacy of the country’s collaborationist “yellow unions.”
Continue reading Interview with Iraqi trade unionists: Morning Star (Saturday 04 December 2004)
Dear USLAW comrades,
IFTU sends our warmest greetings to the delegates and all the labour union members represented at the important USLAW Leadership Assembly.
IFTU salutes USLAW
A representative of the British Fire Brigades Union, Brian Joyce, together with the IFTU General Secretary and Woda Jasib an executive member of the IFTU met a wide range of political parties, politicians, trade unions and ministers of the Kurdish regional governments in Dohuk as well as very many ordinary workers.
The message they gave from across the political spectrum was very clear: Iraqi Kurds clearly dismiss the so-called resistance as criminals, saboteurs and religious fundamentalists.
The delegation received the same political message in the regional capital, Irbil, from the leaders of six unions, which organize 48,000 members between them. Brian visited three fire stations and identified crucial needs such as a better means of communications for when they go out on a “shout” and adequate protective clothing instead of their present cotton clothing. Brian has promised that the FBU will send another container of fire-fighting equipment within the next few weeks.
Continue reading IFTU Report on the FBU delegation to Iraqi Kurdistan, November 2004
ICEM General Secretary, Fred Higgs wrote in solidarity to the IFTU last month following the murder of 4 of their railworker members. ICEM’s letter is reproduced below:
International Federation of Chemical, Energy and Mine and General Workers’ Unions
Brussels, 9 November 2004
It was with shock and horror that we heard the appalling news that on the night of 27/28 October 2004 the horrendous crime against workers employed by Iraqi Railways took place when a train was attacked traveling between Mosul and Baghdad with mortar fire, setting the train on fire, killing all those working on it and mutilating their bodies. The victims, who were murdered in cold blood, included workers, organized by an IFTU trade union, two train drivers, a train controller and a railway security guard. We understand the dead workers are:
6 Iraqi trade unionists visiting Britain as guests of UNISON from 8th
The following interview was conducted with Iraqi trade unionists visiting Britain as guests of UNISON from 8th
The leaders of four important British trade unions organising workers in the transport sector, joined Andy Gilchrist, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union last week in sending messages of support and sympathy to the families of the murdered Iraqi railworkers and pleging to support the IFTU in the struggle to rebuild independent trade unionism in Iraq.
Kevin Curran, GMB General Secretary, Tony Woodley, T&GWU General Secretary, Keith Norman, ASLE&F Acting General Secretry and Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary all wrote to the IFTU with messages of solidarity.
Continue reading UK trade unions send condolences to families of murdered Iraqi railworkers