Support Iraqi unions

Friday May 6, 2005, Guardian Letters
Some Iraqis (Letters, May 4) remind voters about the negative consequences of the war, which I and my colleagues also opposed. But positive changes are taking place in Iraq. Unions were repressed brutally by Saddam Hussein. Now a small clandestine network has been turned into a federation with more than 200,000 members. We want the same things as British people do and are trying – through political pressure, as part of the democratic process being supervised by the UN, negotiations with employers and strike action, where necessary – to improve workers’ pay and conditions, as part of a new civil society that is determined to build a united, federal, secular and democratic Iraq and end military and economic occupation.
We are the real democratic resistance, not those who seek to foment sectarian civil war and who target trade unionists for murder and intimidation. With solidarity from the British and international labour movement, our free unions can help isolate them and unite Iraqis for social justice in a sovereign Iraq.
Abdullah Muhsin, Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions