The General Federation of Iraqi Workers has just published this statement on the abduction, torture and murder of a senior and veteran leader of the independent Iraqi labour movement in what is most clearly a part of a deliberate and systematic campaign to physically liquidate the non-sectarian leadership of the new Iraqi trade unions.
Members of the Labour Friends of Iraq delegation to that country met our comrade Najim Abd-Jasem last year when he was part of a 22 strong delegation from the Iraqi trade union movement to discuss solidarity work with us. His barbaric murder is a great loss to the Iraqi and international labour movement and we condemn it with the utmost vigour.
His tragic loss should not be in vain and should prompt far greater material and moral assistance to the Iraqi trade unions in their fight to build a new civil society and democracy in Iraq. As the old saying goes: don’t mourn, organise.
Director Labour Friends of Iraq
Najim A Jasem was kidnapped by militias on 27 March. His body was found on 30 March 2007. His body bears huge signs of torture. He was member of the underground Workers’ Trade Union Movement (WDTUM) and fought against the regime of Saddam. He was dismissed from his job because of his trade union activities. He was reinstated after the fall of Saddam. He was one of the key founder of the new democratic IFTU, now the GFIW, and was elected the General Secretary of the Mechanics Workers’ Union. He participated in many national and international seminars and training – by Unison and the American Solidarity Center.