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

US Labor Against the War on New Hadi Saleh Book

Speaking at the launch of the book at the House of Commons today, co-author Abdullah Muhsin of the Iraqi Workers Federation said: Iraqs economy was pulverized by Saddams wars, bled by sanctions and further devastated by the invasion, looting and rampant corruption. Iraqs economy needs emergency investment and widespread reconstruction. Free and independent unions will play an important role in making sure investment in Iraq provides quality jobs and decent public services. ‘But unions are also important in forming Iraq’s democratic future and national identity. Our independence makes us a home to all Iraqis irrespective of gender, ethnicity and religion. … Continue reading US Labor Against the War on New Hadi Saleh Book

Hadi Saleh Never Died

Probably the first song about trade unions I ever heard began with the words “I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night.” Those words have been an inspiration the authors of new book just published by the Trades Union Congress in Britain called “Hadi Never Died”. The book is a tribute to Hadi Saleh, the international secretary of Iraq’s new, independent trade union movement, who was murdered in January 2005 by masked gunmen who burst into his Baghdad home. But it is much more than a tribute: it is a beautifully illustrated volume packed with history, anecdotes and analysis. It … Continue reading Hadi Saleh Never Died

Iraq recce

The Sheffield Star reports on the LFIQ delegation to Iraq. THREE years after the invasion by British and American troops, Iraq remains a dangerous place. But the risk of kidnappings and bomb attacks did not deter a delegation of trade unionists, including Sheffield teacher Sue Rogers and former North East Derbyshire Labour MP Harry Barnes. Despite reports of carnage still taking place daily, they saw how recovery was beginning to take hold away from areas such as Baghdad and Basra, where insurgents remain a constant threat. Sue, who teaches history at King Edward VII Secondary School, Broomhill, was on the … Continue reading Iraq recce

Iraqi Unions need help and support.

Tim Lezard meets Iraqi journalist Huda Saber. Huda Saber, 26, lives in Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. A member of the Journalists union of Kurdistan and an activist in the Kurdistan Syndicate, she works for two newspapers, Workers Arm and Gengeland (Youthland). ‘I wouldn’t say the situation for journalists in Iraq is bleak,’ she says, ‘but it is extremely difficult because of a lack of security. In Kurdistan, though, the security situation is better than the rest of Iraq and we are free to move about and to conduct our daily life.’ ‘We’re relatively free to work without the fear of … Continue reading Iraqi Unions need help and support.

Freedom is not free, first report from LFIQ trip to Iraq

Freedom is not free is the inscription on a major statue here in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. This part of Iraq surely knows the cost of war and repression. It’s often not mentioned much but Saddams genocidal Anfal campaign murdered nearly 200,000 Kurds and razed hundreds of villages before the uprising and what everyone here calls the liberation in 2003. Yesterday we also visited the Red House in Sulamani which was the secret police headquarters under Saddam and where hundreds of people were tortured and murdered. It’s grim but not the worst one can find. It’s being maintained … Continue reading Freedom is not free, first report from LFIQ trip to Iraq

Remember the Marsh Arabs, says Cherie Booth

Cherie Booth told a recent conference that the destruction of the Iraqi marshlands during the 1980s and 1990s was symptomatic of the wider destruction of Iraq. It involved not just the destruction of land, but also of the people whose land it was. In the case of the Iraqi marshlands, most of its people were forcibly displaced not once but many times, leaving behind their possessions.The reconstruction of a nation cannot be achieved without involving the people of that nation in the reconstruction process.