Dave Anderson statement on Bob Crow’s death

“I am desperately saddened by news of Bob’s untimely death. I worked with him and his union for years and you always knew with Bob that what you saw was what you got. The world of work is weaker today with his passing, but his legacy will be the proud, strong union that he leaves behind. Bob had strong views. One of them was opposing the invasion of Iraq. Yet he and his union were big enough after that to extend their solidarity to the new unions in Iraq. On every level he showed that standing up for your beliefs … Continue reading Dave Anderson statement on Bob Crow’s death

Promoting rights for Iraqi Unions

LFIQ Joint President Dave Anderson has tabled a Commons motion on Labour and union law in Iraq. That this House notes that the international trade union movement has urged successive Iraqi governments to amend the labour and trade union laws which place substantial restrictions on the fundamental rights of workers, including to associate freely, to bargain collectively and to strike; further notes that the US last year put under review Iraq’s trade preferences, in large part over the Iraqi government’s failure to adopt ILO-complaint legislation; and respectfully urges the Iraqi authorities, in full consultation with the trade unions, to implement … Continue reading Promoting rights for Iraqi Unions

Iraq – ten years on

The following letter appears in a truncated form in this week’s New Statesman. It is my personal view of the coverage in that paper of the 10th anniversary of the anti-war march and the intervention. Those who founded LFIQ in 2004 had radically different views of the intervention but came together to help support the new Iraqi forces that sought to build a democratic and federal Iraq. We made some difference against the odds and several British unions, which had opposed the intervention, and the TUC played a good role in supporting the new labour movement in Iraq. The unions … Continue reading Iraq – ten years on

Workers’ rights in Basra

Despite warm words when LFIQ met the Iraqi PM in Baghdad in 2008, the position of the independent labour movement in Iraq (there are differences in the Kurdistan Region) continues to alarm those who favour trade unions, alongside other independent civil society bodies, as a way or overcoming sectarian differences and of ensuring that social justice and equality are hardwired into Iraq as it uses its vast natural wealth to overcome the legacy of fascism. This report looks at the situation in Basra and powerfully illustrates the need for a new labour law that brings Iraq into compliance with ILO … Continue reading Workers’ rights in Basra

Release Jihad Jalil

The General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) calls for the release of trade unionist Jihad Jalil The Iraqi security forces have arrested a group of demonstrators in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, this morning Friday 27/05/2011, while they were participating in a mass demonstration. The trade unionist Jihad Jalil, a member of the Mechanic and Printing Workers Union, was among those detained without any charge or legal justification. The General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), while calling for the immediate release of all the detainees, including the trade unionist Jihad Jalil, stresses once again that his participation along with his colleagues … Continue reading Release Jihad Jalil

Human Rights in Iraq

Eight years after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s odious regime which used genocide, chemical weapons and torture to repress the Iraqi people and destabilised the wider region with wars of aggression, the record of the elected authorities is infinitely better but mixed. The news from Camp Ashraf is deeply disturbing while the recent human rights report from the US State Department details concerns on media freedoms, corruption, torture and other human rights abuses. Democracy in Iraq is fledgling and fragile and requires nurturing by a vibrant civil society as well as external political, cultural and commercial assistance. Trade unions can … Continue reading Human Rights in Iraq