October 16, 2004

TUC statement on the treatment of Iraqi trade unionists

The TUC, like most participants in the European Social Forum, believes in the fundamental principles of free speech and pluralism.

The TUC is dismayed at this morning’s events that saw a small minority of participants heckling and jostling the leader of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, Subhi al Mashadani, forcing him to leave the session.

We condemn the attempts of a few to prevent the views of Iraqi trade unionists from being heard. We call on everyone at the European Social Forum to support the decision of the organisers to allow Subhi to speak tonight as originally planned.

The TUC believes that the voice of Iraqi trade unions should be heard. The IFTU is one of several trade union voices in Iraq and the TUC is of the view that all of them should be listened to if we are to help the Iraqi people to rebuild their country.

Our Congress reiterated our view that the war was wrong and that troops should be withdrawn as soon as possible. The only way forward is to allow people of differing opinions to have their say.

Posted at October 16, 2004 08:20 PM