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.’

TUC condemns anti-union terrorism in Iraq

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has condemned three examples of barbarous terrorism against the trade union movement in Iraq. Writing personally to the General Secretary of the Iraqi GFIW, Rasem Al-Awady, he said: Trade unionism is founded on the principle that an injury to one is an injury to all, and I have no doubt that, contrary to their intentions, the actions of these terrorists will only redouble the commitment of Iraqi trade unionists, and the solidarity of trade unionists around the world for your struggles.’ The TUC, which is part of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and is … Continue reading TUC condemns anti-union terrorism in Iraq

How do Iraqi Communists view the upsurge of violence in Iraq?

Salam Ali is interviewed on the Iraqi Communist view of the current situation. He says, for instance, the following on the presence of foreign troops: A national consensus is emerging in Iraq, among the major political forces, that there should be a clearly defined objective timetable for a speedy withdrawal of the occupying forces, linked to rebuilding the Iraqi armed forces. Up to now, Bush has adamantly refused to be committed to such a timetable, obviously preferring an open-ended military presence and occupation. While an immediate withdrawal is widely seen by Iraqis as not feasible, it is increasingly not acceptable … Continue reading How do Iraqi Communists view the upsurge of violence in Iraq?

In Memory

Harry Barnes, who voted against the invasion of Iraq on every occasion in the Commons, draws our attention to a blog from a now dead young American officer, Mark Daily. I opposed the American led invasion of Iraq and have been highly critical of its many excesses. These include the abuse of prisoners, a tendency to zap first and to think later, its ill thought overall tactics which show it to be attuned to fighting the wrong type of war, its rip off commercial interests and its anti-trade union bias. But there is another side of this coin. Nowhere is … Continue reading In Memory

Sinbad and Modern Terrorism

Harry Barnes makes some very thoughtful points about efforts to counter terrorism and draws on his experience of Northern Ireland as an MP over 18 years. Operation Sinbad has been functioning in Basra since 27 September, 2006. It aims to root out corrupt elements in the police, whilst providing assistance to rebuild and repair essentials such as schools, hospitals, water systems and electricity supplies. It is led by the Iraqi Security Service supported by British, Danish and other Multi-National Forces; with the rebuilding aspects of the project being carried out by Iraqi engineers. In the Commons debate on Wednesday, Margaret … Continue reading Sinbad and Modern Terrorism