Iraqi trade unions

What’s wrong with “Stop the War”?

Published on: Wed, 19/10/2016 - 12:18

Simon Nelson

The Stop The War Coalition enjoyed its heyday around the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but has regained some prominence since David Cameron’s government first proposed the bombing of Syria in August 2013.

Feeding on perceptions that UK involvement in the Middle East has led to prolonged campaigns of bombing, loss of life, and the creation of unstable regimes, with very little of the humanity supposed to exist in “humanitarian intervention”, the STWC has called a number of demonstrations and got some media coverage for its opposition to the UK and US involvement in coalition bombing of

Kurdish construction workers demand recognition

Published on: Wed, 10/12/2014 - 12:18

The Kurdish Construction Workers' Organisation, active mainly in Iraqi Kurdistan, is appealing for support in its campaign to get recognition from the Kurdish Regional Government.

The Kurdistan Regional Government must formally recognise the Organization of Construction Workers in Kurdistan!

As a part of the working class, the construction workers of Kurdistan have never been provided the basic rights they deserve nor has any formal authority taken responsibility for the lives, health or future prospects of the workers.

Ruling parties in this region have established trade unions, however these

Iraqi labour under fire as sectarianism grows

Published on: Wed, 22/01/2014 - 10:27

Sectarian violence continues in Iraq, with 21 people killed in bombings in Baghdad on 20 January. The central government, dominated by Shi’ite Muslim parties and led by Nouri al-Maliki, recently launched a military counteroffensive against Sunni-Islamist militias which have taken control of areas in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah in western Iraq.

Falah Alwan, President of the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI, one of Iraq’s main labour federations), spoke to Solidarity about the situation in the country.

There is enormous wastage on government salaries and other

Iraqi union leader on trial

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2013 - 09:26

At a hearing on 3 June, the Iraqi Southern Oil Company lawyer presented a list of charges against Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) leader Hassan Juma’a based on a letter from the Inspector General of the Iraq Ministry of Oil in Baghdad.

The SOC claims that strikes which Hassan’s union has organised have caused them financial damage. Hassan, and his international supporters, believe that he has done no more than carry out his legitimate and legal duties as a trade union activist.

The judge has given the SOC until 17 June to provide evidence of the financial damages to the company they

Iraqi trade unions fight for independence

Published on: Wed, 01/08/2012 - 10:57

The main issue facing Iraqi workers is the government’s attempt to impose a new labour code.

Workers have been working without an official labour code since the fall of the Ba’athist regime. Effectively people have been working on the basis of established traditions, conventions, and practises rather than a legal code.

There was a draft in 2004, but in our view this was worse than the 1936 labour law of the old monarchy! The new labour code also perpetuates Saddam Hussein’s 1987 ban on unions and collective bargaining in the public sector.

The new draft includes 156 articles, and we have

Iraqi unions resist anti-worker labour law

Published on: Wed, 23/05/2012 - 07:19

The unions in Iraq are continuing our joint campaign against the imposition of a new labour law, and against governmental interference in union elections.

The labour code the government is currently proposing represents only the interests of the factory owners and big business. It’s worse than the labour laws of the Saddam era. It guarantees no basic workers’ workers, and prevents freedom of association and strikes. It also relates only to the private sector, as public sector workers are formally considered “public servants” rather than workers.

It would institutionalise a 48-hour week, which

US withdraws from Iraq

Published on: Wed, 14/12/2011 - 09:27

By Martin Thomas

At the end of December, the last US troops will withdraw from Iraq, eight years and eight months after the invasion of March 2003.

Bungling to the last, the USA sent vice-president Joe Biden to tour Iraq declaring the operation a success, and he held forth to a puzzled audience on the great things the USA has done in Baku. Baku is in Azerbaijan, not Iraq.

The invasion was the product of a surge of US triumphalism following the collapse of European and Russian Stalinism in 1991, easy US military successes in Kuwait (1991), Bosnia (1995), and Kosova (1999), and seeming US

US troops to quit Iraq

Published on: Wed, 26/10/2011 - 11:54

On Friday 21 October US president Barack Obama announced that the 46,000 US troops still in Iraq (down from a peak of 170,000) will all leave the country by 31 December 2011.

The US had been negotiating to keep 30,000 troops and some bases in the country, and then at least to keep 3,000 trainers. In the end it has had to comply with the letter of the deal which George W Bush signed with the Iraqi government in late 2008 after first and unsuccessfully (in summer 2008) trying for a deal which would license US troops to remain in Iraq for many years, in large numbers and with large powers.


Attacks on Iraqi unions

Published on: Wed, 01/06/2011 - 10:42

There are escalating attacks on Iraqi union leaders and activists in the Kurdish area of Northern Iraq and in Baghdad.

In Kirkuk, management of the Northern [State-owned] Oil Company, punitively transferred Jamal Abdul-Jabbar, President of the Oil and Gas Union, to a remote location in retaliation after he led a major walkout in defense of contract workers and for better conditions and safe work environment.

• More: and

New social protests in Iraq

Published on: Wed, 16/03/2011 - 15:39

Martin Thomas spoke to Falah Alwan ( FWCUI), Toma Hamid (WCPI in Australia), and Mansour Razaghi (Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union in Australia who has been in close touch with the Iraqi unions) about recent protests in Iraq.

FA: On Friday 4 March there was a very rough curfew imposed by the authorities to stop people from attending the demonstration in Tahrir Square, Baghdad. But despite that around 15,000 attended. It lasted until 5.30pm and after that they started shooting the demonstrators. One of our comrades was injured by a bullet, and another one was injured in Samara,

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