Statement by Brendan Barber to Iraqi Solidarity meeting

The Trades Union Congress, which represents people at work in Great Britain, expresses its solidarity with the working people of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, and especially with their free, independent and democratic trade unions. The main victims of terrorism and violence are ordinary people, wherever they are, and we have expressed our outrage at and sympathy with the victims of terrorism in Iraq, and our concern that so much terrorism is focused on people at work and their trade union representatives. We were particularly grateful that one of the earliest messages of support the TUC received when London was attacked on 7 July last year was from the Iraqi trade union movement, proving that while terrorism knows no boundaries, neither does trade union solidarity – it is a basic trade union principle that an injury to one is an injury to all. We support the struggle of trade unions in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan for peace, democracy and economic and social justice, and call on the Government of Iraq to recognise the positive role that unions can play in that struggle by repealing anti-trade union laws and establishing a labour law in full compliance with the standards of the ILO.