Iraqi labour campaign
Hamid Majid Moussa, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party, met yesterday 4 September, the President and members of the Executive Committee of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW). The GFIW delegation explained recent trade union developments and violations. And it said it is organizing trade union elections at the end of September 2012.
The GFIW delegation concluded by thanking Hamid Majid Mousa for the solid solidarity support the Iraqi Communist Party has been providing for the trade union movement in Iraq.
The ICP Secretary General stressed on the importance of the Iraqi trade union movement and said it is necessary to rally and encourage workers to engage in the upcoming electoral process that shall be conducted by GFIW in order to defend the interests and rights of the Iraqi working class.
He stressed the importance of supporting the GFIW in its various activities and called for the strengthening of the GFIW role within Iraqi society.
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The Oil and Gas Workers Union (OGWU) in Iraq is calling on the Ministry of Oil and in particular on the Distribution of Petroleum Products Company (DPPC) —one of the Oil Ministry national companies to meet the just demands (rights) of the DPPC employees.
The OGWU is calling on the Oil Ministry and its national company the DPPC to implement the following:
1- repayment of financial entitlements since 2009
2- repayment of overtime allowances to 800 oil tanker drivers who worked a daily average of 18 hours
3- The allocation and distribution of lands for housing for the DPPC employees.
The OGWU is confident that the Ministry of Oil and the DPPC shall look favourably and award the above legitimate demands.
Oil and Gas Workers UnionContinue Reading »
Leading MP of State of the Law calls on Presidency of Iraqi Parliament to check trade unions independence
A leading MP Mr Saleh Al Asadi member of the State of Law , Mr Al Asadi’s parliamentary list is a member of the National Alliance block. Mr Al Asadi said that the formation of government Committee to manage and supervise workers elections has compromised trade unions dependence and violate Arab and International Standards. Mr Al Asadi stressed the need to form a new trade union committee by the GFIW and its unions or a committee by the Iraqi House of representatives.
Al Asaid said in a press release 27 July that the formation of a new committee will ensure the non –interference of political parties in the internal affairs of the unions and thus allow them to choose trade union leaders freely. He added that unions should act like melting pot that brings together all shade of Iraqi society. Al Aasadi called on the Presidency Council of the Iraqi House of Representative to intervene to investigate recent election results in order to protect trade unions independence and the unity of the trade union movement which it is under increasing threat of further divisions.Continue Reading »
Four trade union structures ( please see signatures below) met in Basra to state their official position of the fake workers election conducted by the so-called preparatory committee set up by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The preparatory committee invited a group of individuals—less than a dozen- who have no trade union affiliations to a meeting behind closed doors to conspire to appoint an executive trade union body—through fake election- for the Basra GFIW.
In view of that the meeting condemns this opportunistic move which is endorsed and certainly blessed by the government of . The meeting reports the following:
1- The preparatory committee falsified election by inviting few individuals with no trade union credentials instead of the current GFIW executive of Basra.
2- This process is a mean to delude working people that the GFIW is the only trade union structure in Iraq. And thus to claim that workers election is about democracy is wrong. It is a mean to oppose trade union pluralism.
The signatures of this meeting (unions+ federations in Basra) and in defence of trade union pluralism and democratic trade union movement declare:
1- The meeting condemns the establishment of the official preparatory committee which interfered blatantly in the internal affairs of unions and put obstacles to impede the free formation of trade union organizations which is a clear violation of international conventions such as Convention No 87 of 1048.
2- The meeting condemns government interferences in the affairs of the unions and; condemns those who are working—with government blessing and protection—to sabotage the work of free and democratic trade unionism.
3- The meeting condemns the government use of the former regime notorious anti union law such as law 150 of 1987 that constrained and inhibit trade union activities in key active Iraqi sector
4- The meeting deplores the Governing Council Resolution No 3 of 2004. A resolution that worked to impede the development of trade union organizations.
The meting also demands:
1- the meeting demands that the government respects its responsibility towards national trade unionism especially the rights to form and join unions in both the private and public sectors and right to free assembly and demonstration. The meeting would like to remind the government of its responsibility to respect its international obligations toward conventions 87 and 98 of 1948.
2- The meeting demands that the government stop the blatant interferences by dominant political parties and militias in order to politicize trade unionism and attempts to dominate it.
3- The meeting demands the abolishment of decisions made by the and also the government refrains from using the former regime anti union law against the labour movement in Iraq.
4- Speed up the process for the enactment of a fair and just labour law that respect workers rights and guarantee freedom of trade union organizations, assembly and demonstration and strike and prevent government interferences and the domination of government backed political parties.
5- The involvement of all unions in Iraq without exception in any discussion relates to law that effects workers whether being prepared by government or parliament in order to ensure that workers views are included.
Based on the outcome of the meeting and as a result of trade union solidarity among the unions and federations present at this meeting it is decided to form a coordinating committee from he participants to lead solidarity struggle for workers rights.
Long live Iraq
Long live the trade union movement in Iraq
Friday 22 June 2012
General Federation of Iraqi Workers In Basra (GFIW)
General Federation of trade Unions and Workers Councils in Basra
Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU)
Union of Engineering in Southern Electricity Sector.Continue Reading »
The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Nassar Al Rubaie met a delegation of the GFIW executive led by Hadi Ali General Secretary of the GFIW, Ismail Khalil and Rahim Ali, Adnan Al Saffar, Jasip Awoda and Hashem Jonah.
Falah Al Yasiri, Director General of the Legal Department at the ministry attended the meeting as well.
The meeting discussed the latest trade unions developments and the wiliness of the GFIW to hold fair and open workers trade unions elections.
The Minister stressed on the importance of trade unions independence and on non governmental interference. He said the sole role of the government –and its institutions– is to assist unions to hold workers elections within the next four months. He stressed non government interference in workers elections.
The GFIW delegation emphasised on trade unions independence and its readiness to organize workers trade unions elections according to International Labour Organization standards that are free from narrow partisan gain by any political party.
The meeting also discussed the current draft labour law which fails to comply with international Labour Organization standards and in practically, the rights of public sector workers to trade union representations. Both agreed to coordinate efforts to apply pressure on the Parliament to modify the Draft in order to allow public sector workers the rights to organize and join unions. Both agreed to hold further joint consultation and coordination meetings for the preparation of workers elections and for monitoring the progress of current draft labour law.
The GFIW delegation had—earlier on the same day- met Khalid Shwani, the Parliament Head of the Legal Committee and informed him of the GFIW concerns over the current Labour Law Draft which will be presented to Parliament, soon, for debate and adoption.
The GFIW delegation stressed that parliament should debate the original draft labour law that was submitted by the Council of Shwara and not the one submitted by the Council of Ministers to Parliament. The council of Minister had modified the council of Shwra’s draft by removing key article that allows public sector workers the right to organize. The GFIW called on Parliament to abolish labour resolution 150 of 1987.
Mr Shwani, the Parliament Head of the Legal Committee, promised to inform Parliament of the GFIW concerns when the draft labour is debated.
The GFIW delegation previously had met Member of Parliament Yonadim Kana, the Head of Parliament Labour and Social Affairs Committee to discuss the current draft labour law and to inform him of the GFIW concerns about it.
Mr. Kana expressed his full understanding of the rights of working people to join trade union organizations including public sector workers according to the Iraqi constitution and international standards.
February 1 2012
Fax + 1516704200
Tahrir SQ. Al Rasheed Street. Baghdad IraqContinue Reading »
You are aware of the national political crisis our country is experiencing, which is considered to be deeper and more profound than recent past crises, as it is gravely endangering the post-2003 national political process.
In order for the GFIW to do its share and work with rest of Iraqis to ward off this dangerous threat, our GFIW must be united and strong; led by competent, sincere and principled trade unionists with high integrity, grassroots credentials who are deeply imbedded in democratic trade union struggles for workers’ rights and justice and independence from the hegemony of post-2003 governments and political parties.
However, a number of GFIW leaders who sit as executive members, and as leaders of the GFIW branches and national private sector unions, do not adhere to or abide by democratic trade union values such as openness, independence and transparency and workers’ unity, but instead they employ covert methods of forgery such as falsifying workers elections; bribery and intimidation including threats. These violations were evident at the GFIW National Council Meeting on 18 January 2012.
We had called repeatedly for convening this National Council Meeting with the aim of addressing internal democratic deficits so as to move forward united, but those calls fell on deaf ears. However, despite our suspicion of government interference in the planning and timing of the 18th January National Council Meeting, we agreed to join and take active part in it. The stealth unwritten agenda of the meeting was cooked and prepared in advance by the then acting president of the GFIW with help of outside dominant political forces in government without prior knowledge of the whole leadership of the GFIW.
Your brothers and sisters whom you trusted to lead you over the last nine years pledge to carry on the struggle to clean up our trade union movement, the GFIW, from all impurities, and promise to defend unions’ democracy and independence, and above all stand firmly by workers’ interests.
We affirm our commitment to conduct fair, genuine and transparent workers’ elections based on democratic rules and procedures.
O Working People,
The GFIW is keen to keep you informed about grave trade union violations and wrong internal unions’ procedures conducted by some members of the GFIW leadership under the supervision of dominants elements within the government. These flagrant trade unions violations were repeated at the GFIW National Council meeting on 18th January 2012. We detail the following violations:
1- Deliberate exclusion of GFIW executive members and regional offices in the preparation and setting of the agenda of the national meeting. The meeting had no progress report. If such a report was presented which should have been done by normal standard, then it should have detailed last year GFIW work which includes grave trade union violations that the GFIW experienced April-May 2011 at the hands of some of its executives when they falsified workers’ elections under the direction and auspices of a dominant elements within the government.
2- Brother Uday Rashid, the president of the Textile and leather products union was prevented and denied the right to enter the meeting. Brother Ali Shamkhi, the President of the Mechanic Workers Union was also prevented from joining the meeting. Two unknown persons were brought in to take the seats of the above two union presidents. It is worth noting that the above-mentioned two have been very outspoken in expressing their views about government interference. When the meeting was challenged about these grave violations, no explanation was provided.
None of the public sector unions were invited.
3- Brother Saad Jassim, vice president of the GFIW in Maysan Province, was prevented from entering the meeting hall and instead an unknown person with no previous trade unions credentials was brought in to take his place instead.
4- Mr Jabar Denbos was invited to attend the National Council meeting without the approval or knowledge of the whole GFIW leadership. Mr Denbos had previously been dismissed from his executive post because he had physically attacked the president of the Construction and Wood Workers Union who openly opposed the falsification of workers’ elections by government stooges in the executive of the GFIW.
5- The inappropriate behavior and bad practices of the Chairperson of the meeting who appointed himself to post; refused to allow the meeting to appoint delegates to organize names of speakers and issues of debates; decided who speaks and who does not, controlled who enters the meeting and who is not allowed to enter. In simple words, he followed and executed the scenario planned by his political official master.
6- Five security (officials) were employed for the day who exercised total control over who is allowed to enter the meeting and who is not allowed, executing the chairperson’s desire and his political masters.
7- Inaccuracies in the process of sorting and counting of election results meant that final results were wrong.
Sisters and Brothers,
At this difficult stage which our trade union movement is experiencing, we pledge to you that we shall carry out our professional and moral duties in building a united and strong trade union movement capable of defending workers’ interests in Iraq. A movement that leads the struggle from the front for democratic trade union values such as transparency, independence and above all serving the interests of workers.
Due to the violations conducted before and during 18th January 2012 meeting, we, members of the 18th January national meeting of the GFIW (members of the executive, delegates of the unions and GFIW regional centers) reject the results and deliberations of the 18th January National Council Meeting due to the suspicious planning and executing of the meeting.
We shall continue to expose trade unions violations and work to cleanse our movement from abusers and continue to expose, isolate and dismiss elements that were imposed forcibly to lead the movement. We emphasis on the importance of speeding up the preparations to hold democratic trade unions elections free from forgery.
No to the falsification and distortion of the will of Iraqi workers. No to the tampering in Iraqi unions.
Long Live Workers’ Unity, the guarantee to secure legitimate workers rights.
Baghdad, 25 January 2012
Tahrir Sq. Al rasheed Street. Baghdad, Iraq,
Tels: 8173030– 8153829 — 8153825– 8153817Continue Reading »
The strike of workers at Taq Taq (T.T.O.P co) Company which began on August 1 by a group of local workers most of them lived in the vicinity of the oil company. Protestors demanded that the company must honor its promises that pledged to workers when they signed their contracts. Protestors demanded improvement to their salaries which is much lower than the salaries of foreign workers working for the same company. In addition, protestors complained about the bad behavior of the company foreign director toward workers. Workers demanded, as well that the company should invest in the community welfare like paving the community main roads and by building some civic premises.
The Kurdistan United Workers Union (KUWU) fully support and endorse these legitimate workers demands.
It is wroth to report that these demands were discussed in a agreement reached in a meeting between representatives of the company and workers yesterday 2 August 2011. Present at the meeting were representatives from the Council of Ministers of the Region of Kurdistan Government and the Ministry of Natural Resources. Workers demands were met by the company and thus workers have decided to end their protest on the afternoon of August 2 and resume work again..
The KUWU Executive
3 August 2011Continue Reading »
Tunisia’s revolution earlier this year sparked off uprisings that continue to reverberate across the Arab world. Malika Achour from the Tunisian union movement told festival goers at Tolpuddle exactly how it all began.
The tiny Dorset village of Tolpuddle might seem a million miles away from revolutionary upheaval in North Africa, but as the spark that led to hard won rights for working people in Britain, it resonates strongly with events in Tunisia in January this year.
Malika Achour from the Tunisian teaching union was a special guest at this year’s Tolpuddle Martyr’s festival to explain their own Tolpuddle moment. Sheltering from Dorset’s soggy weather, I caught up with her on Saturday morning in the festival’s coffee tent.
Malika is a member of the Tunisian teaching union and a representative of its youth committee in the Ben Arous region. Her union is affiliated to the Union Generale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT), effectively the Tunisian TUC. for more information please click here: http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19861-f0.cfmContinue Reading »
For full story, please, click here to view report with Photo: نسيج الكوت
Protestors demand better living conditions and the sacking of the company director.
Hundreds of workers at al Kut National Textile Company protested on Monday 25 July 2011 in front of the provincial council to demand better living conditions. Protestors called as well for the dismissal of the Director General of the Company.
Workers organized a peaceful demonstration to convey their demands, which included sacking the manager of the company who is accused by protestors as the reason behind the collapse of the al Kut Textile Company, which was one of the profitable national companies in Iraq.
One of the Protesters (Assad Ali) said that 75 cases of kidney illness from pollution caused by waste left by cotton are now documented adding that workers are not being paid risk (dangerous work) allowances. Protestors called on the company to payout arrears of their allowances.
It is worth to note that Al Kut Textile Company employs 5500 workers in textile, spinning and knitting factories.Continue Reading »