Commons Motion on Labour Rights in Iraq

LFIQ Chair Dave Anderson has tabled the following Commons motion as a basis for the LFIQ campaign to support independent unions in Iraq
That this House applauds the recent Labour Friends of Iraq delegation to Erbil and Sulamaniyah to meet unions, parties, and ministers from Iraqi Kurdistan as well as 22 union leaders from Baghdad, Basra and Babel; is concerned that Iraqi Ministers, through Decree 8750 of August 2005, have frozen the monies of unions including those affiliated to the Iraqi Workers’ Federation, leaving organisations which represent up to a million Iraqis and which are the bedrock of a non-sectarian civil society unable to organise and play a positive role in both the workplace and in wider society; fears that some may create sectarian client unions; urges the British Government to make representations to the Iraqi Government to lift Decree 8750 and the continuing ban, first introduced in 1987 by Saddam Hussein, on public sector trade union organisation; is concerned that this ban is the basis of hostile actions against the Port Workers’ Union in Khour Al-Zubeir; further notes that the LFIQ delegation was told repeatedly by union leaders and others of the potential of private foreign investment in Iraqi Kurdistan whose Parliament is keen to encourage investment not least in tourism and mineral extraction; believes that those concerned for Iraqi democracy should heed the call of the Iraqi unions for urgent assistance to retrieve their independence and to increase their power as a social partner in reconstructing Iraq which has long been isolated from modern thinking and must contend with the enormous physical and psychological legacy of dictatorship, sanctions and war.
The motion has so far been supported by the following Labour MPs:
Dave Anderson
Mary Creagh
Rob Marris
Clive Betts
Ian Austin
Frank Doran
Celia Barlow
Mick Clapham
Colin Challen