On 21 October, the Manama Appeals Court is due to hear the final plea by two Bahraini teacher trade union leaders who have been imprisoned and tortured following protests connected to the Arab Spring uprising. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-patrick-roach/teachers-bahrain-uk-government-must-act-to_b_1985881.html23/10/2012 by admin
Imagine that after Saturday’s rally you were picked up by the security forces, beaten with a hose pipe, thrown into solidarity confinement for six weeks, forced to sign a confession under torture, denied medical treatment and then sentenced for a decade on trumped up charges. Please click here: http://strongerunions.org/2012/10/22/jailed-for-marching-on-saturday-you-would-be-in-bahrain/23/10/2012 by admin
The independent GFIW deplored the cowardly attack on its regional headquarters in Basra and Diwaniyah 0n 25-26 September by thugs masquerading as trade unionists. These thugs sought to size and occupy the GFIW headquarters.
The independent GFIW, its regional headquarters and leaders are under constant attacks. This is because of the federation firm opposition to government drive to control and politicise the GFIW and its unions. The Iraqi Ministry of Labour in order to control unions had imposed and then ratified sham elections 24 June-2 July 2012 for the GFIW and its unions. These elections were conducted under the auspices of a government appointed preparatory committee and supervised by the Ministry of Labour. This committee applied state resources—security and financial- to influence and falsify elections results which ultimately lead to the appointment of individuals –with no trade union credential– as trade union leaders. These elections were first boycotted—Basra GFIW was one of the GFIW regional structures that boycotted these elections—and results of these elections were rejected by wide spread organized workers across Iraq for they were fraudulent, fixed and contradict democratic international trade union standards mainly those of the ILO fundamentals. The 24June-2 July 2012 government imposed GFIW elections were not about crating independent and democratic unions but rather creating client unions. This latest government imposed fraudulent elections lead unfortunately to the division of the GFIW and its unions into two structures May 2012. One is now under government control whilst the second is relatively democratic and independent and is facing extreme attacks by the Ministry of Labour such as the attack being reported in this briefing.
The independent GFIW calls on the Iraqi authorities to cease trying to politicize the movement on sectarian abhorrent values. This is a dangerous attempt that will further endanger the social tension Iraqi society is trying to overcome.
The independent GFIW, whilst putting these facts before Iraq and international public opinion, has called on the government of Iraq to address these violations; to support Iraqi workers rights to legitimate, independent and democratic trade unionism as enshrined by Iraq’s permanent constitution; and to further stop interfering in the internal affairs of the unions and instead provide legal (Labour law|) and political space for the Iraqi trade union movement to constitute its internal democracy independently and transparently.
The independent GFIW has, therefore, been engaged in conducting national trade union election for its regional structures and its national unions in the private sector. The GFIW asserts it’s determination to continue with this democratic and independent trade union practices as the only genuine practices to elect trade union leaders and adopt social and economic policies. The GFIW is determined to continue with this just struggle despite legal obstacles and difficulties manufactured by the state . The GFIW shall continue defending working people interests and rights to independent trade unionism and just, fair and safe working and living conditions.
AM28/09/2012 by admin
The GFIW announces results of the election of committees of the Construction, Glass and Wood Workers Union in Baghdad and across Iraq
The GFIW announced the completion of the union election committees in Baghdad and across Iraq. The union started these elections on 23 September and ended 25 September where thousands of construction, timber and glass workers took part to elect their chosen trade union representatives to form workers committees across Iraq for the union.
The Union issued statement saying workers have elected and formed 15 workers committees at work places in Baghdad alone.
The statement said that thousands of workers across Iraq’s provinces in Kirkuk, Diyala, Wasit and karbala, Najaf and Nasiriyah and Maysan, Basra and Babel took part while at work places to elect their chosen trade union representatives.
The union statement added that Iraqi media and press were invited and reported on transparency of elections. Local authorities (councils) supported these events by providing security and protection for those taking part. Judges and lawyer participated as volunteers in elections to report and confirm fairness, legitimacy and transparency of these elections.
The union shall soon, at end of this month start of October, convene regional elections to elect regional committees after that the union shall organize election to elect national leadership for the union.
AM27/09/2012 by admin
Abdul-ilah Al Nasraoui General Secretary of the Arab Socialist Movement [Member of Socialist International] met a delegation from the new independent General Federation of Iraqi workers (GFIW). Mr Al Nasraoui listened to presentation provided by the GFIW delegation on current trade union violations including constant governmental interferences in the internal affairs of the GFIW and its affiliated unions.
Mr Al Nasraoui assured the GFIW delegation by confirming his and that of his party support for the trade union movement in Iraq. He said the trade union movement is a key segment of Iraqi society and it plays vital national role. Mr Al Nasraoui urged the GFIW delegation to increase its work and contacts with grass root workers at both workplaces [and communities] in order to defend working people interest. Mr Al Nasraoui encouraged the GFIW delegation to expand its circle of solidarity and urge them to contact Iraqi MPs, civil society organizations and wider political forces to explain the GFIW difficulties and seek solidarity support in order to put an end to the Ministry of Labour interferences in the internal affairs of the unions.
AM17/09/2012 by admin
The General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) has condemned the decision of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to ratify the results of sham union elections.
Hadi Ali Lafta, the vice-president of GFIW, said “the Ministerial Committee should have awaited the outcome of lawsuits filed against the election results.” He pointed out that the announcement of election results were “fraudulent and a fabrication” that are no different in style from the previous elections. .
Lafta also told “Tareeq Al-Shaab” newspaper that “preparations are continuing to hold the elections after we published and distributed the Electoral Programme to all federations and unions in the country. We have determined the mechanism for conducting elections with a timetable that begins on 23rd September and continues for two months.” He added that daily meetings are being held with unions in the provinces despite the announcement by the Ministry. The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Nassar al-Rubai’e, announced yesterday (10 Sept, 2012) the ratification of union elections for the General Federation and the release of its assets.
The Ministerial Committee consists of representatives from the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Finance, Human Rights, Ministry of State for Parliamentary Affairs, a representative of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and a representative of the Justice and Accountability Commission.
11 September 2012
13/09/2012 by admin
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.
End05/09/2012 by admin
29 August 2012, the Parliamentary Commission on Oil and Gas reported initial agreement between the presidencies of the Council of Ministers and Parliament on the 2007 draft law. The draft shall be tabled before Iraqi parliamentarians for approval.
It is worth noting that between 2007 and 2011 three draft bills were proposed. The first was drafted in 2007 but failed to secure parliamentary consensus. The second draft was presented by the Parliamentary Commission of Oil and Energy. The third draft was compiled in 2011 by the current Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussain al-Shahristani.
None of the above three drafts secured overall parliamentary consensus.
In the absence of such law regulating oil and gas affairs, Iraq’s energy industry ( oil and gas) became subject of sever political disagreement between the federal government and the Regional Government of Kurdistan/Iraq. This in turn fueled further political and economic insecurity.
It seems, however, finally the three Iraqi parliamentary governing blocks have reached a consensus to adopt the much waited energy law to energies Iraq’s failing economy and help to stablise national political situation .30/08/2012 by admin
Release Bahraini teaching union leaders says TUC
Next week, the leaders of the Bahraini Teachers’ Association (BTA) are having their final hearing to get the unjust sentences against them dropped. The TUC is again calling for their release.
President Mahdi Abu Dheeb and Vice President Jalila al-Salman of the BTA were sentence to ten and three years in jail last year for their role in leading the union during the Arab Spring uprisings. For more information please click here: http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-21356-f0.cfm30/08/2012 by admin