TUC condemns the murder of top Iraqi trade unionist

5 January 2005
The TUC today (Wednesday) condemned the murder of Hadi Salih, the international secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), who was shot last night by assassins who broke into his Baghdad home.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Hadi was a very brave man, who with no thoughts for his own personal safety, returned home as soon as Saddam was gone to try to make Iraq a better place to live and work.
“Like all trade unionists, Hadi believed in peaceful solutions to working people’s problems and his commitment to rebuilding the trade union movement as part of a democratic Iraq has cost him and his family dear. Sadly, Iraq has now joined the list of countries where trade unionists live under the almost daily threat of violence and death, and Iraqi working people have lost someone who worked tirelessly on their behalf.”
Hadi Salih had, on many occasions, condemned those who seek to use violence and terror in Iraqi. Only last month he had been at the ICFTU World Congress in Japan where he had met Brendan Barber and other senior British trade unionists.
Hadi Salih was 56, and was a former printing worker, who helped found the IFTU last May. Under Saddam Hussein’s regime, Hadi Salih was sentenced to death in 1969 for his labour activism. But after five years in jail, he escaped the gallows when his sentence was commuted. After fleeing Iraq, Hadi became a political refugee in Sweden but rushed back to Baghdad shortly after the war began in a bid to rekindle the labour movement.