RMT president Tony Donaghey welcomed a delegation to Unity House on 20 January from the Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU) led by international secretary Hadi Salih and Abdullah Muhsin, London Based IFTU Representative .
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
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
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
The Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU) was invited to attend a meeting organized by both the ICFTU and the ILO in Jordan 17-18 December 2003 to discuss ways and means to help and support Iraqi trade unionists to build new, transparent and democratic unions in post Saddam?s dictatorship era . Mr Rasem Hussien Abdullah the president of the IFTU, its first vice president Mr Hadi Ali laftah and Sobhi Abdullah Hussien the general secretary represented the IFTU for the Jordan meeting. The presidents of both the Iraqi Teacher and Journalist Unions were also present at the meeting. Mr Jutiyar Norri Abdulla from the Syndicate Union of Kurdistan Workers was also represented at the meeting.
At an emergency meeting of its Executive on 14 December 2003, the Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU) congratulated the people of Iraq and the world on the capture of the bloody dictator and the manner in which he was caught in his burrow near Tikrit. We hope this will contribute to uniting the Iraqi people for a new, unified and democratic Iraq, which will end dictatorship forever. In order for Iraq to move forward, Saddam must be tried in Iraq and the truth must come out about his crimes and those he killed, whose memory we honour.
Welcoming the capture of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi Teachers Union called for public trial of the former bloody dictator not only in order to discover the truth about those who disappeared but also to bring about a unified and democratic Iraq. The union specifically pointed to one of their members who disappeared on 23 May 1980, Hassun Ali Al-Mousawi, a secondary school teacher from Najaf — one of many thousands of honourable teachers who disappeared without trace.
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Statement of the Iraqi Federation of Workers’ Trade Unions (IFTU) About the Vicious Attack By the Occupation Forces on its Headquarters on Saturday 6th December 2003.
To: Workers and the Iraqi Working Class,
Iraqi, Arab and World Public Opinion,
Supporters of Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights all over the world.
The American occupation forces, using a force of about ten armoured cars and
tens of soldiers, attacked the temporary headquarters of the IFTU (at the
headquarters of the Transport and Communication Union, in Karkh district,
Allawi Al Hilla, Baghdad) at 10.30 am on Saturday 6/12/2003, and arrested 8
of its leaders and cadres, who were handcuffed and taken away to an unknown
The attackers ransacked and destroyed the IFTU’s possessions, tearing down
banners and posters condemning acts of terror, tarnishing the name of the
IFTU and that of the General Union of Transport Workers (on the building’s main
front) with black paint and smashing windows glass, without giving any
reason or explanation.
Temporary headquarters of IFTU after US raid. Note the smashed windows, torn banner, defaced sign
GFTU: Instrument of Repression Against Iraqi Workers under Dictatorship.
Published by the Workers Democratic Trade Union
Movement (WDTUM) in Iraq – Nov. 2003.
When the Baath party seized power by a coup
d’etat in July 1968, it launched a systematic
campaign to break up the workers’ trade unions.
Only four days after the coup, the regime took
over the offices of the legitimate trade unions,
arrested the leadership and appointed their own
men in union positions.
On 9 August 2003 The IFTU in Basra had organized a peaceful demonstration in support of the Transport and Communication Union demands.
Due to the recent sever shortages of both gas and petrol, Iraqi working people in Basra called upon the occupying authority to ensure the sufficient provision of these commodities at the fixed recognized prices.
In late August 2003, the IFTU held a press conference, which was attended by many local and Arab reporters and satellite stations.
At the start of the press conference the Executive Committee (EC) of the IFTU denounced the criminal terrorist attack on the UN head office in Baghdad, which resulted in the death Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello the representative of the UN General Secretary.
The EC of the IFTU emphasized the legitimacy of the new emerging unions as the true and sole representatives of Iraqi working people.