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
Message of support to Public Service Workers’ Union (IFTU) from UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis:
UNISON, the UK’s biggest trade union, supports the development of free and independent trade unions in Iraq. The right to take industrial action, including strike action,is an important manifestation of that right. UNISON hopes that the dispute at the Palestine Hotel can be resolved through negotiation, but should this fail we support whatever further legitimate action the Public Service Workers’ Union Committee decides is necessary.
On February 4, 2005 Ms Sgrena was abducted in Baghdad and she has been set free on 4 March 2005.
Here is the story as reported in Tareeq al-Shaab, the Iraqi communist newspaper.
Early Day Motion 781
MURDER OF IRAQI FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS’ LEADER IN IRAQ
That this House unreservedly condemns the murder of Ali Hassan Abd, a leading member of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Union’s (IFTU) Oil and Gas Union, who led the way in rebuilding independent unions after the fall of Saddam Hussein and who was assassinated on Friday 18th February by terrorist extremists while returning with his children to his home close to the Al Dorah oil refinery in Baghdad; supports the statement issued by the IFTU Executive Committee, which ‘condemns this cowardly act and resolves to continue to organise for free, democratic and independent unions’ and ‘pledges to its martyred hero Abu Fahad to carry on organising workers and also for a new and democratic Iraq’; and strongly supports the IFTU’s call for the international labour movement to condemn this atrocity against a brave trade unionist, which once again confirms that the so-called resistance is deliberately targeting leaders of the Iraqi labour movement in order to prevent the growth of a new civil society in Iraq, after the brave defiance shown by millions of Iraqis in the last elections.
David Cockroft, General Secretary of global union federation the ITF, today condemned the murder of Ahmed Adris Abbas, member of the Transport and Communication Workers
TO THE IRAQI FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS (IFTU)
It is with feelings of disgust, anger and vehement protest that we learn of the murder of brother Ahmed Adris Abbas a member of the Transport and Communication Workers Union Baghdad.
The killers, who pretend to be for the Iraqi people and to be spearheading the so-called resistance to the occuption of your country by the US, British and Australian troops in particular, are actually directing their main blows against the Iraqi people. Hundreds have died in their indiscriminate terrorist assaults – workers, intellectuals, farmers – men, women and children.
We join you in mourning the loss of your brother trade unionist and fellow worker and give honour to all those who are genuinely fighting for independence, democratic trade unions and a situation in which it becomes possible to rebuild your country and continue its glorious history in peace and freedom.
Communist Party of Australia
Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU):
SUBJECT: IFTU Condemns the murder of brother Ahmed Adris Abbas a member of the Transport and Communication Workers Union in Baghdad
The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) announces the loss of the martyred trade unionist and member of the Transport and Communication Workers Union, brother Ahmed Adris Abbas who was assassinated on Thursday 24th February 2005 in Martyrs
The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union of Australia comments here on reports of the IFTU-organised strike by hotel workers in two of Baghdad’s top hotels:
Vital new union movement created
This strike is a reflection of the vital revival of independent trade unionism in Iraq since the fall of the Saddam regime.
Rebuilding free, democratic and independent trade unions has not been easy because worker activists are regularly killed, kidnapped and harassed by all sides in the Iraq war.
The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) has announced that Moaid Hamed, the General Secretary of the IFTU Mosul Branch has been released.
Brother Moaid Hamed was kidnapped in Mosul February 11 2005 by gunmen while leaving his home in Mosul on union business and was taken to unknown location.
The IFTU would like to thank the international labour movement for their efforts in securing the release of brother Moaid.