Iraq

Tariq Aziz and his friends

Submitted by martin on 2 November, 2010 - 10:37 Author: Rhodri Evans

Saddam Hussein's deputy Tariq Aziz was sentenced to death on 26 October, on charges to do with his role in the Saddam regime's massacre of Islamist opponents.

The European Union has declared the death sentence "unacceptable", and the Vatican and several European governments have called for clemency.

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The banality of imperialism

Submitted by martin on 2 November, 2010 - 10:28 Author: Martin Thomas

The biggest-ever "leak" of official documents in history has filled in the picture of brutal US floundering in Iraq.

391.832 files - daily reports by US military units to their commanders from 2004 to 2009 - have been passed on to WikiLeaks and then analysed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London.

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Impasses in Iraq and Afghanistan

Submitted by martin on 7 September, 2010 - 11:37 Author: Martin Thomas

On balance, the US military withdrawal from Iraq still looks on course, but Iraq's semi-parliamentary quarter-democracy looks very shaky.

On 31 August the USA announced the end of "combat operations" in Iraq and a reduction to 50,000 troops there. It reaffirmed US plans to remove all troops and hand over all bases by the end of 2011, though a huge US civilian presence, tens of thousands of "security" mercenaries employed by US contractors, and large US bases just over the border in Kuwait will remain.

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Police raid union offices across Iraq

Submitted by AWL on 23 July, 2010 - 3:53

From www.labourstart.org

Police raided and shut down electricity unions across Iraq in mid-July, carrying out an order from the Minister of Electricity that could have been lifted from Saddam Hussein’s rule book.

The order prohibits "all trade union activities at the ministry and its departments and sites" and authorizes the police "to close all trade union offices and bases and to take control of unions' assets properties and documents, furniture and computers."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Comments

Submitted by martin on Sun, 05/30/2010 - 22:21

To the brothers and sisters in the General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq:

We congratulate you on the tireless and valuable efforts in leading the demonstration of General Union Of Port Workers in Iraq on Monday. In fact it is an honour for all workers in Basra.

We support and praise the port workers and union leaders in demanding their rights in this vital sector.

We in the General Federation of Oil Unions stand in the same trench with our fellow port workers and we want to let you know that we will support you’re struggle because the injustice will thrive with silence. And if we do not speak out, those who want to humiliate workers will succeed, even though we do know that our demands are legitimate.

Long live the union movement in Iraq
Glory to the workers of Iraq

Hassan Jumaa,

General Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq

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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.

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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.

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