According to Naftana, the UK support committee for the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (GUOE), the Iraqi regime has frozen all the bank accounts of the Iraqi oil workers’ union, both abroad and within Iraq.
This comes in the wake of a series of anti-union measures, including the disbanding of the council of the lawyers’ union, freezing the writers’ union accounts and the September 2005 decree making all trade union activity illegal. (At the time the government said it would introduce law to ‘regulate’ trade union organisations and their activities).
The GUOE organises over 23,000 oil and gas industry workers. GUOE executive committee members, including its President, were part of the opposition against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, and many were imprisoned by the regime. The GUOE is opposed to the occupation of Iraq and to the privatisation of the oil and industrial sectors of Iraq.
• More information: sign up to the Naftana email alerts system at firstname.lastname@example.org
• 80-100 factory workers were abducted by gunmen from fleets of buses just north of Baghdad on 21 June. There have been many cases of workers being abducted, either to be ransomed or killed. The workers are thought to be Shia.