Students march against outrage by religious hardliners in Basra

Students march against outrage by religious hardliners in Basra
On 15 March in Basra, a group of students (both male and female) from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Basra organised a day trip to one of Basra’s Parks in the Al Makhal area of the city.
Once in the park, the students were attacked by a mob of Islamist hardliners who told the students that such gatherings of young men and women are “an un-Islamic practice”. The mob severely beat the students and shaved off one of the woman student’s hair as a punishment in a practice eerily reminiscent of the atrocities carried out against women in neighbouring countries. 15 students were taken to hospital as a result of the brutal attack where they are still recovering.
The incident happened while local police were looking on. 12 police cars were reportedly at the scene while the attack was taking place.
This brutal outrage must be condemned as an attack upon the Iraqi people’s civil liberties. Such repression should and must not be allowed to happen in a democratic Iraq.
0n 16 March as a reaction to the unprovoked attacked thousands of students (both male and female) from Basra’s University marched in protest and in defiance of the attackers.
Students from all faculties of Basra University took part in the demonstration yesterday, condemning the attack. They carried banners with the slogan “No to Terrorism”.
The Students and civil society organizations in Basra are calling on the local and national authorities to bring to justice the culprits.
Some of the students who were taken to hospitals were in a serious condition.

Unemployment Pay set in Iraq

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs conceded recently a new national rate of unemployment pay. The Ministry has set the new rate at 130 000 Iraqi Dinars per month for all those registered with the Ministry’s official employment centres.
The IFTU has met with officials from the Ministry and has consistently demanded that clear and transparent systems are implemented by the Ministry for claiming and receiving unemployment pay and that a national standard rate is published.
The IFTU continues to campaign for jobs for Iraqi workers and to raise the rate of unemployment pay.

130 الف دينار مخصصات شهرية مقطوعة للعاطلين

130 الف دينار مخصصات شهرية مقطوعة للعاطلين
قررت وزارة العمل والشؤون الاجتماعية صرف مخصصات شهرية مقطوعة مقدارها (130) الف دينار للعاطلين عن العمل المسجلين في مكاتب التشغيل التابعة لها ولحين توفر فرصة العمل المناسبة لهم من قبل الوزارة. وقالت السيدة ليلى عبد اللطيف محمد وزيرة العمل والشؤون انه تم وضع خطة جديدة للحد من ظاهرة تفشي البطالة وذلك بتشغيل اكبر عدد ممكن من العاطلين مشيرة أن الخطة تتضمن تشغيل (627)الف منهم بعد ادخالهم دورات مهنية وتطويرية لاكسابهم المهارات الفنية والحرفية.
مبينة ان الوزارة قامت بتشغيل اكثر من (224) الف عاطل كما منحت (311) عاطلاً فرصة الحصول على رواتب تساوي ما يتقاضون في القطاع الخاص مدة ستة اشهر.واضافت ان الوزارة تسعى إلى حصر تشغيل العاطلين بمركز الوزارة بعد انتشار عدة مكاتب اهلية للتشغيل وهي وهمية وغير مجازة قانونياً وتقوم باستغلال المواطنين وتمارس عمليات النصب والاحتيال عليهم مؤكدة ضرورة ان يكون هناك قانون واجراءات صارمة تضع حداً لتأسيس وممارسات هذه المكاتب.من جانب آخر..باشرت الوزارة بالتعاون مع اجهزة وزارة الداخلية بحملة لجمع المتسولين المنتشرين في شوارع وساحات بغداد والمحافظات وايوائهم في دور الرعاية الاجتماعية التابعة لها.وذكر مصدر في الوزارة ان الحملة ستستمر بعد ان بلغ اعداد المتسولين نسباً كبيرة لا تعكس حالة العراق الجديد. وتوفير سبل الرعاية الاجتماعية والصحية وفرص العمل للجميع . مشيراً إلى ان بعض المتسولين اتخذ ذلك مهنة له مما يتطلب وضع اجراءات فاعلة للحد من تلك الظاهرة الشاذة..يشار إلى ان الوزارة قد انجزت تشييد احدى بنايات مجمع رعاية الايتام والمسنين في منطقة الاعظمية والمخصصة لايواء المسنين فاقدي الرعاية الأسرية وقد شمل المبنى الجديد الذي يسع 150 مستفيداً على اجنحة للرعاية الصحية والاجتماعية وتأمين الحياة الكريمة.وكانت الوزارة قد قدرت تكاليف انشاء ابنية المجمع بنحو سبعة مليارات و(500) مليون دينار.

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) reports on recent visit to Iraqi Kurdistan

Brian Joyce, a member of the National Executive Commitee of the Fire Brigades Union provides an account of a recent trade union visit to Iraqi Kurdistan by his union to oversee delivery of 1250 sets of fire kit sent by the FBU. The FBU has been at the forefront of practical solidarity with the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU).

Continue reading Fire Brigades Union (FBU) reports on recent visit to Iraqi Kurdistan

Campaign for Peace and Democracy: Opponents of the occupation condemn attacks on Iraqi trade unionists

US Labor Against the War are publicising the following Appeal Statement launched following the brutal murder of Hadi Saleh (IFTU International Secretary) in Baghdad earlier this year.
Campaign for Peace and Democracy Statement Condemning Attacks on Iraqi Trade Unionists
Circulation began January 23, 2005. Please sign on.
Please join Stanley Aronowitz, Medea Benjamin, Norman Birnbaum, Eileen Boris, Carl Bromley, Noam Chomsky, Joshua Cohen, Marc Cooper, Richard Deats, Daniel Ellsberg, Carlos Espinosa, Gertrude Ezorsky, Barry Finger, Barbara Garson, Jill Godmilow, Linda Gordon, Gary Groth, Mina Hamilton, Thomas Harrison, Doug Henwood, Michael Hirsch, Adam Hochschild, Allen Hunter, Doug Ireland, Joanne Landy, Assaf Kfoury, Hany Khalil, Jesse Lemisch, John Leonard, Sue Leonard, Mark LeVine, Nelson Lichtenstein, Betty Reid Mandell, Marvin Mandell, David McReynolds, Timothy Mitchell, David Newby, Molly Nolan, David Oakford, Mike Parker, Glenn Perusek, Frances Fox Piven, Katha Pollitt, Nancy Romer, Ruth Rosen, Matthew Rothschild, Jennifer Scarlott, Jay Schaffner, Jason Schulman, Lynne Schwartz, Stephen Shalom, Sunil Sharma, Adam Shatz, Alan Sokal, Chris Toensing, Howard Wallace, Juanita Webster, Immanuel Wallerstein, Lois Weiner, Naomi Weisstein, Reginald Wilson, John Womack, Jr., Kent Worcester, and others in signing this statement.
CPD’s past statements have been widely publicized, and with your help we will also aim to publicize this statement as broadly as possible.
Thank you,
Joanne Landy, Thomas Harrison, Jennifer Scarlott, Co-Directors, CPD
OPPONENTS OF THE OCCUPATION CONDEMN ATTACKS ON IRAQI TRADE UNIONISTS
“We, who opposed the U.S.-led war on Iraq and who call for an immediate end to the occupation of that country, are appalled by the torture and assassination in Baghdad on January 4, 2005 of Hadi Salih, International Officer of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). There are also disturbing reports of intimidation, death threats and murders targeting other IFTU members, trade unionists in general, and political activists.”
“We utterly condemn the assassination of Hadi Salih. We call upon all sides in the conflict in Iraq to respect the rights of non-combatants as required by international law and to recognize the rights of workers to organize freely, without threat or harm, in trade unions of their own choosing in accordance with International Labor Organization (ILO) standards.”
“We believe that the physical targeting of trade unionists is in no way politically or morally acceptable, even though we disagree strongly with the IFTU’s support of UN Resolution 1546, which supports the U.S. military presence in Iraq. This resolution has been used by the Bush Administration to justify keeping U.S. troops in the country.”
“We also oppose the victory of those elements of the resistance whose agenda is to impose a repressive, authoritarian regime on the Iraqi people, whether that regime is Baathist or theocratic-fundamentalist. We do not know whether such authoritarian elements have gained decisive control over the resistance to the U.S. forces and their Iraqi and international allies. We do know, however, that the continuing occupation of Iraq, which grows more brutal with every passing day, only strengthens these elements, increases their influence over the resistance and makes their ultimate victory more likely.”
“We further oppose the occupation because it is part and parcel of an imperial U.S. foreign policy that shores up undemocratic regimes like those of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, gives one-sided support to Israel against the Palestinians, and promotes unjust, inequitable economic policies throughout the world. Not only in Iraq but throughout the Middle East and globally U.S. foreign and military policy either directly or indirectly subverts freedom and democracy.”
For further information about the issue, please contact us at cpd@igc.org

In remembrance of Anfal and Halabja

On 16th March 1988 Saddam Hussein’s fascist-type regime gassed over 5000 Kurdish civilians in the town of Halabja as part of Anfal, the campaign of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Saddam’s regime in which 182,000 Kurds disappeared without trace.
‘The Joint Kurdish Committee for Anfal and Halabja’ supported by the Kurdish Studies Forum of SOAS are organising a meeting in remembrance of Anfal and Halabja at the Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OCG on Sunday 13th March 2005 from 2.00pm

Iraqi Union News Update: IFTU holds seminars on Iraqi Labour Laws

The IFTU recently held two seminars for trade unionists in Baghdad on 6 and 7 March 2005 on the proposed labour code. In particular the seminars were intended to inform Iraqi trade unionists about the progress and content of the discussions which have been taking place in Amman, Jordan with the assistance of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the Middle East Office of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The IFTU has joined with other trade unionists to commit itself to establishing a Labour Code which incorporateskey ILO Conventions into the new Iraqi Constitution, which will be put to a referendum later this year.
The IFTU has called consistently for the repeal of the 1987 Labour Law introduced by the regime of Saddam Hussein and sees the campaign for positive labour rights as an essential step in building a strong and united trade union movement and overcoming the problems and difficulties currently facing Iraqi unions.
– Statement ends –
Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU):
c/o UNISON,
1 Mabledon Place,
London WC1H 9AJ.
Tel?: 00 44 79 76 84 68 68
Email: abdullahmuhsin@iraqitradeunions.org

Iraqi Union News Update: IFTU organising success in the hotel sector

The IFTU-supported strike actions conducted recently at both the Palestine and Sheraton Hotels by more than 750 workers are part of an IFTU organising drive in the hotel sector. The strikes at both hotels were successful in gaining wage increases and improved working conditions for the workers.
Additionally, at the Melia Masor and Babil Hotels workers have now elected Union Committees and have entered into negotiations with management there. As a result of this organising drive workers at the Babil Hotel have received a bonus payment of US $600 each and the management at the Melia Mansor Hotel agreed to pay workers a wage increase in order to put them on the same rate as workers at the Palestine and Sheraton hotels.
– Statement ends –
Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU):
c/o UNISON,
1 Mabledon Place,
London WC1H 9AJ.
Tel?: 00 44 79 76 84 68 68
Email: abdullahmuhsin@iraqitradeunions.org

IFTU celebrates International Women’s Day

Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU):
News Release:
SUBJECT: IFTU celebrates International Women’s Day
Every year, women across the globe celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, a day of global struggle and solidarity for women’s freedom and equal rights.
The IFTU executive committee issued a statement today saying:
“We celebrate International Women

400 Workers at top Baghdad Hotel conclude successful strike

Workers at the Palestine Hotel, one of the most prestigious in Baghdad’s ‘Green Zone’ and a favourite haunt of foreign journalists have concluded successful strike action the IFTU reported today.
The action by hotel workers follows a two-day strike that won the reinstatement of 27 dismissed workers at the ‘Baghdad Hotel’ late last year, which was organised by the IFTU. One of the chief developments of last year’s dispute was the formation of ‘Union Committees’ at the Baghdad and other large hotels.
Muhsin Jasim, Baghdad Regional Secretary of the Public & Social Service Workers