Iraq government shutters union offices across country in lightening raids
Iraqi troops and police have raided the offices of the Electricity Union all across Iraq, implementing a new decree – the latest in an escalating series of antiunion measures designed to incapacitate and destroy the Iraqi labor movement. For more information please click here: http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/
The news from Iraq this week has not been good. After weeks of popular protest against power cuts which led in some cases to deaths and injuries at the hands of the police, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani was given the Electricity Ministry too, and on 21 July he issued an order to raid, seize property from and close down the offices of electricity unions, on the basis that Iraqi law still bans unions in the public sector – a law dating from the Saddam era, and still on the statute books. For more information please click here: http://blogs.amnesty.org.uk/blogs_entry.asp?eid=6826
Global trade union and civil society outrage was heard loud and clear last week by the latest setback to reconstruction in Iraq. The Iraqi government, on 20 July, invoked a ministerial order to shut and seize all offices and property of electrical workers’ trade unions. For more information please click here: http://www.icem.org/en/78-ICEM-InBrief/3919-Outrage-at-Iraq
By Ben Lando of Iraq Oil Report
Published July 26, 2010
BAGHDAD – Weeks after taking office, acting Electricity Minister Hussain al-Shahristani over the weekend ordered all union organizing be banned from ministry facilities, and rounded up documents and computers in Basra.
The move has been condemned by Iraqi unions and American and international labor groups as carrying on Saddam Hussein’s legal oppression of Iraqi workers’ rights. for more information please click here: http://www.iraqoilreport.com/energy/electricity/shahristani-clamps-down-on-electricity-unions-4857/
This is an English translation of the original Arabic Ministerial Order issue No 22 244. While all attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this translation, please refer to the Arabic Ministerial Order on http://www.iraqitradeunions.org/wordpress/?p=1509&lang=ar
Issue: 22 244
Based on the approval of the respected Minister [of Electricity] and his acceptance of the recommendations of the Office of the Inspector General as indicated in letter, No. (1 / 1 / A / 30) on.19. July 2010.
The following is decided:
1- Prohibit all trade union activities at the ministry and its departments
and sites; and to stop all forms of official [ministry and its departments and sites] interaction and communication with the trade unions that operate within the Ministry and its departments
2- The ministry of electricity and in coordination with the police is ordered to close all trade union offices and bases and to take control of unions’ assets properties and documents, furniture and computers with proper listing of all the items seized.
3- The concerned directorates of the ministry must take immediate legal action against those who resort to the use or threat of violence aimed at damage to public properties under articles 2 and 4 of the Terrorism Act No 13 of the year 2005
4- The formation of central committees in all the ministry departments.
Representatives from the Office of the Inspector General, the Administrative and the Legal Offices are instructed to sit in these committees for the purpose of determining the eligibility of privileges granted to trade union officials and withdraw these privileges. [The committees] are instructed to take administrative and legal procedures against violators.
5- The immediate implementation of this order as from the date of its
Mohamed L Hawass
On behalf of the Minister.
CENTRE FOR PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH- IRAQ/CPHI & CENTRE FOR PSYCHO-SOCIAL CARE FOR SURVIVORS OF TORTURE IN BAGHDAD/ CPCST
Statement by the management committee and staff of Baghdad Centre for Survivor