GFIW condemns raids on its head office and calls for solidarity

The GFIW has issued this statement. Labour Friends of Iraq is deeply concerned to hear of these raids. On 23 February, American and Iraqi forces raided the head office of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) and arrested one of the Union security staff. This unprovoked attack resulted in the destruction of furniture, the confiscation of a computer and fax machine and the arrest of employee who was released unharmed later same day. The same force repeated this unprovoked attack on 25 February and caused further damage. The GFIW while condemning this unprovoked attack and calls on the occupation … Continue reading GFIW condemns raids on its head office and calls for solidarity

Progress of the Baghdad security plan

Hameed Moussa, head of the Iraqi Communist Party, also described the plan as positive, and called comforting the initial indications. It will succeed despite of challenges and difficulties, he added. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Saturday had praised the results of a newly implemented security strategy, in which he claimed that Iraqi and coalition forces have killed 400 terrorists and detained more than 400 others. ‘Baghdad will not be a sanctuary for the outlaws,’ said al-Maliki during a press conference on Saturday. He added: ‘The results (of the new plan) are positive, several terrorist cells were dismantled.’ Al-Maliki also … Continue reading Progress of the Baghdad security plan

Iraqi heroes

LFIQ Vice-President Harry Barnes reports on the meeting with the delegation of Iraqi teachers. He writes that the Iraqi Teachers pointed out just how catastrophic education had been under Saddam. For dictatorship rests upon manipulative and superficial forms of what passes for education. Saddam’s educational programme has impacted upon generations of school children and when political change came, it did not come from the Iraqi people themselves but via invasion. The formation of the new Government had, however, impacted upon the entire nation and had given the new Teachers’ Union the opportunity to press for many changes in educational practices, … Continue reading Iraqi heroes

Message from Prime Minister

Tony Blair sent the following message of support to the Iraqi Teachers Union who were guests of Labour Friends of Iraq and Executive Member Baroness Royall at a meeting in the Lords on 19th February. I regret that I cannot be with you. I am delighted that the delegation from the Iraqi Teachers’ Union is here in the UK. I commend the efforts of the NASUWT and others in providing your new and free union with training and support so that it can better stand on its own two feet and contribute to the building of civil society and democracy … Continue reading Message from Prime Minister

LFIQ President tables Commons motion in support of solidarity with Iraqi Teachers

That this House congratulates the Trades Union Congress and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) on their decision to host a fact-finding visit by 10 representatives of the new Iraqi Teachers’ Union, in co-operation with the General Federation of Iraqi Workers, during which they were based in Birmingham and London, observed the work of the NASUWT and received intensive training, visited workplaces and met members of other trade unions including Community, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the National Union of Teachers, as well as parliamentarians; notes the comments of Mahdi Ali Lefta, the head of … Continue reading LFIQ President tables Commons motion in support of solidarity with Iraqi Teachers

TUC Iraq Bulletin

The latest TUC Iraq Bulletin carries news of Iraqi union protests over the draft hydrocarbons which give US oil companies too much profit for too long from Iraqi oil. The Bulletin also reports that the GFIW has held talks with Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih about the state of Iraqi labour law, and he will be ensuring that the Prime Minister meets trade unions to discuss developments. Barham Salih was a member of the Labour Party in Cardiff when he was in exile in the 1980s, and the meeting with the GFIW was brokered by Ann Clwyd MP when … Continue reading TUC Iraq Bulletin

Teachers are the quiet heroes of Baghdad

The Observer carries a moving report of the delegation from the Iraqi Teachers Union which is currently in the UK as guests of the NASUWT. One says: We have no choice. We have to carry on living, we have to go out. These extremists want to stop life and the best thing to them is to stop us going to school and teaching the children. But if they stop that then everything will collapse. Teacher Mohamed Seed Hatem said the situation today ‘was still better than it was. A bloody dictatorship has gone.’