Iraqi Oil Minister revives Saddams anti-union Law

Statement issued by the General Union of Oil Workers and Technicians (GUOWT), a GFIW affiliated union.
The oil workers unions sent a delegation to meet up with oil minister on the 6 August to discuss the current crisis but the minister refused to meet them.
The GUOWT issued a statement on the 2 August and again on the 7 August deploring the approach taken by the Oil Minister and called on him to withdraw the memo sent and signed by his legal adviser Mr Laith abd al Hussein, on 18 July 2007 under his personal instruction to the Iraqi oil companies in Baghdad, Bejy, Kirkuk and Basra ordering them not to deal with oil unions members, and instructed them not to allow oil unions members to be part of any committee formed at the work place.
On 6 August the GUOWT sent a delegation to meet the Oil Minister that sought to explain the union position on this issue, to persuade the minister to withdraw his memo and to inform the ministry that it is human right violation to deny Iraqi oil workers the right to organize and collective bargaining and it is a breach of ILO Convention 98 that Iraq has ratified.
The Oil Minister refused to meet the leadership of the GUOWT and sent the General Director of Information Bureau of the Oil Ministry to inform the oil workers delegation that the Oil Minister will not meet with people that represent unions in the oil sector for he said that there are no workers here but state employees. In this he is wittingly or unwittingly relying on Saddam’s decree of 150 that banned workers from organizing in the public sector.
The oil union delegation told the ministry’s officials that the GUOWT will not bow to such pressure and its recent history since it reformation in 2003 has been one of proud struggle in the defence of workers rights, the protection of Iraqi national assets (Oil and Gas) from looting, stealing and corruption. The union endeavoured to strengthen and progress in the production of oil and had very good relationships with so many state oil officials.
Baghdad 7 August 2007