A statement issued by the General Federation of Iraqi Workers.

On the recent call by the Iraqi government to form a new preparatory committee for the election of the GFIW leadership.
The Higher Ministerial Committee overseeing the implementation of Governing Councils decision No.(3) for the year 2004 officially announced recently that nominations are open to establish a national preparatory committee with responsibility to organize and supervise the GFIW leadership election across Iraq.
This government action was done without any prior knowledge or consultation with GFIW despite the government claim that it is organizing this (election) in line with current labour law[ Law 52 of 1987] and the internal rules of the GFIW [GFTU Rules].
The Executive Committee of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers states that the current move by the High Ministerial Committee completely violates Labour Law number (52) of 1987 and the internal rules of the GFIW [GFTU].
The High Ministerial Committee overseeing the implementation of Governing Council’s decision No. (3) for the year 2004, should have implemented what it had issued before ( reference to the letter of the Ministry of State for Civil Society No c s / 106 On 13 September, which lead to the formation of a national preparatory committee on 2/2008 set up with the task of preparing and supervising workers election. A date for election was set on 22 June 2008 and then on 1 March 2009 but all this was cancelled without any justification by an order ( No 86 on 1March 2009) issued by the Minister of Civil Society.
The GFIW stressed repeatedly that workers have the right to form and join union is and it believes that this is a legitimate democratic practice endorsed by international Labour organization (ILO) standards and guaranteed by article 22 of by the permanent Iraqi constitution.
Convention No. 87 of 1948 of the ILO and Convention No. 8 of 1977, of the Arab labour organization obliges Member States to provide workers with freedom to form trade unions and compel states not to interfere in internal affairs of the unions.
The main aim of organizing workers into trade union is to strengthen industrial relations and improve social and cultural conditions for workers so that they can help in the reconstruction of Iraq.
The GFIW/IFTU while rejecting the current government interference in its internal affairs, Is calling on Iraqi workers to stand up to defend their legitimate rights and is appealing to the wider trade union movement, professional associations and civil society organizations, political parties and members of the Iraqi parliament for support and assistance and for the solidarity support of the international trade union movement in order to put an stop to all government interference
GFIW Executive
October 2009