Iraqi union representative addresses US unions

Abdullah Muhsin spoke to an AFL-CIO (US TUC) launch of the book on Hadi Saleh, the Iraqi trade union leader brutally murdered by insurgents in Iraq, at a gathering this week in Washington. He said: Iraqis have never had the freedom to organize before. We are trying to shift the attitude. We have had nothing but destruction, death, misery and policy disasters [for so many years]. We are helping to build a society. We are not motivated by religion, ideology, class. We are not men and women. We look at ourselves as citizens and workers. We want a better society for workers and better wages.

New Commons Motion on Labour Rights in Iraq

LFIQ Joint President Dave Anderson has tabled a fresh Commons motion in support of solidarity
His motion has so far been supported by Angela Eagle, Ian Lucas, Anne Moffat, David Hamilton, Alan Meale, Bob Russell, Dr Evan Harris, Andrew George, Denis Murphy, Stephen Hepburn, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Jim McGovern and SDLP leader Mark Durkan.
This is the motion
That this House is concerned that Iraqi Ministers, through Decree 8750 of August 2005, have frozen the monies of unions, including those affiliated to the Iraqi Workers’ Federation, leaving organisations which represent up to a million Iraqis and which are the bedrock of a non-sectarian civil society unable to organise and play a positive role both in the workplace and in wider society; fears that some may create sectarian client unions; urges the British Government to continue to make representations to the Iraqi government to lift Decree 8750 and the continuing ban, first introduced in 1987 by Saddam Hussein, on public sector trade union organisation; welcomes the continuing efforts of Labour Friends of Iraq to encourage moral and material solidarity with the new Iraqi labour movement; and backs the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in its efforts to encourage British unions and others to pledge monthly sums to fund Iraqi unions’ basic running costs such as printing the Workers’ Unity newspaper and to encourage people to send used mobile telephones and chargers to the TUC so that they may be used by Iraqi union organisers.

Kofi Annan Comments Do Not Reflect Reality

The Iraqi Ambassador to Canada Howar Ziad, who is also a senior advisor to the Iraqi President, has expressed his disgust with comments by the United Nations Secretary General. Howar writes: Instead of spearheading the Saddam Nostalgia Club, we expect the UN secretary general to be constructive and to contribute positive ideas to the democratic process in Iraq,” he said in a statement, and added that they expect Mr. Annan to help the people of Iraq confront terrorism that is undermining Iraqis’ interests.

Iraqi Association Condemns Militias

Jabbar Hasan the director of the Iraqi Association has responded to the 23rd November attack: Sadistic terrorist crimes in Iraq must inspire us to work unceasingly together in pursuit of peace, justice and respect for differences. Dissolving militias will ease the tension, which will equally break the cycle of foreign terrorists and pave the way for peace.

Campaigning for free unions in Iraq

Abdullah Muhsin the international representative of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) called on the Iraqi government to abolish the 1987 law passed by the toppled Saddam regime and to implement the new labour code for workers.
He said Saddam’s law of 1987 which effectively banned trade unions in the public sector has still not been abolished. He also called for the repeal of code 8750 passed by the former Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Jafari saying it froze rights of workers.
“The trade union movement in Iraq is besieged in some sense,” he said Muhsin said the IFTU which was established in 2003 has 200,000 members today.
The Iraqi trade unionist estimated the current unemployment rate in Iraq between 40-45 percent.
He noted that the public sector in Iraq employed the largest number of workers, followed by construction, oil and transport.