Iraq

Iraqi workers: "We are still fighting"

Submitted by Matthew on 10 June, 2010 - 3:16 Author: Falah Alwan, Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq

Following a recent strike at the Iraqi Harbour Corp. demanding higher wages, the administration have issued orders to transfer dockworker activists from their workplaces in Basra to Mosul, which is 1000km away. We’re building a campaign of protests against the transfer; we’ll back the workers if they refuse to comply with the orders.

On the issue of a labour law, the GFIW is doing some work and has met the Minister of Labour, but their demands only include the “official” unions, meaning themselves.

Iraqi ministers aim to limit trade unionists' travel

Submitted by martin on 6 June, 2010 - 9:40 Author: Amjad Ali

The Alsabah (a pro-Iraqi government newspaper) published this news on May 15, 2010:

The higher ministerial committee that supervises the implementation of the Civil Provisional Authority Decree No. 3 (Paul Bremer, 2004), has decided that unionists must obtain prior approval from the government should they intend to travel or participate in any delegation or activity abroad.

Iraqi ministers aim to limit trade unionists' travel

Submitted by martin on 6 June, 2010 - 8:36 Author: Amjad Ali

The Alsabah (a pro-Iraqi government newspaper) published this news on May 15, 2010:

The higher ministerial committee that supervises the implementation of the Civil Provisional Authority Decree No. 3 (Paul Bremer, 2004), has decided that unionists must obtain prior approval from the government should they intend to travel or participate in any delegation or activity abroad.

New threats to Basra trade unionists

Submitted by martin on 30 May, 2010 - 3:38 Author: Amjad Ali

From the General Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions, 29 May 2010: A demonstration that began May 7 in Basra intensified today with new threats upon the workers and union leaders being relocated 1000 km from their jobs.

In response to a call made by the leaders of the general union of harbor workers in Basra (an affiliate union with the General Federation of Worker Councils and Unions in Iraq) hundreds of employees of the Iraqi Harbor Corporation walked off the job on May 7, 2010, demanding better wages and living conditions.

Iraqi Kurdish journalist murdered

Submitted by martin on 19 May, 2010 - 3:51

A young journalist, Sardasht Osman, was kidnapped on 4 May 2010. Two days later his body was found near to the headquarters in Mosul, Iraq, of the PUK, one of the two parties which run Iraqi Kurdistan in coalition.

Sardasht was a correspondent for several websites and electronic newspapers.

Amnesty International has urged the authorities in Kurdistan “to set up an investigation line on this crime and bring the murderers to justice”. The New York Times has reported one of Osman’s friends as accusing the KDP security forces in Arbil.

Iraqi workers fight for rights

Submitted by martin on 27 April, 2010 - 3:10 Author: Colin Foster

The AFL-CIO, an American equivalent of the TUC, has launched an international campaign for a democratic labour law in Iraq.

At present, Saddam Hussein's labour law from 1987 is still on the books, making trade unions theoretically illegal in the public sector, i.e. in most of the Iraqi economy. In addition, Decree 8750, from August 2005, gives the Iraqi government arbitrary powers to seize union funds.

Successive Iraqi governments have promised that they will legislate for workers' right to organise, to have representation, to strike, etc., but have not yet done so.

Oppose the execution of Du'a Khalil's murderers!

Submitted by AWL on 30 March, 2010 - 11:40 Author: Houzan Mahmoud

Statement by Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq-Abroad Representative
31/03/2010

Executing Du'a Khalil's killers is not justice, but a violation of human rights

According to official sources at Ninawa Criminal Court, the four people charged with the stoning of Du'a Khalil Aswad on 7 April 2007 have been sentenced to death. The decision was made on 27 March, just three weeks before the third anniversary of Du'as murder.

Hurt Locker: all pressure and action Matthew Thu, 03/18/2010 - 16:33

At this year’s Oscars Kathryn Bigelow became the first female director to be given a gong — for her film Hurt Locker. It was a worthy winner in a crop of “Iraq war flicks”, but it is not political film.

Iraq: now fight for a labour law!

Submitted by martin on 16 March, 2010 - 2:15 Author: Martin Thomas

Full results from Iraq's 7 March parliamentary election are not due until the end of the month. Best guesses so far are that the "State of Law" slate of Nouri al-Maliki - prime minister since 2006 - will win the largest chunk of seats, though nowhere near a majority.

Iyad Allawi, the former Ba'thist and CIA favourite who was the US-appointed prime minister in the "interim government" of 2004-5, but has since been in eclipse, is said to have done well, especially in Sunni-Arab-majority areas, with his Iraqiyya slate maybe winning the second biggest block of seats.

Iraq inquiry: glossing over the war

Submitted by Matthew on 5 February, 2010 - 12:29 Author: Martin Thomas

Want to know the reasons for the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Better read the testimony by Paul Wolfowitz — US deputy Defense Secretary at the time of the invasion — to a US Congress committee on 25 February 1998 than Tony Blair’s words to the UK Iraq Inquiry on 29 January 2010.

Blair gave, as the Financial Times reported, a “typically smooth” and “lawyerly” story. Wolfowitz was arguing a case, not trying to gloss things over after the event.