Iraqi government forcibly closes trade union offices, prohibits union activity

Iraqi government forcibly closes trade union offices, prohibits union activity

The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity has issued an edict that "all trade union activities at the ministry and its departments and sites" and authorizes the police "to close all trade union offices and bases and to take control of unions' assets properties and documents, furniture and computers."

Police raided and shut down electricity unions across Iraq in mid-July, carrying out an order from the Minister of Electricity that could have been lifted from Saddam Hussein’s rule book.

The order prohibits "all trade union activities at the ministry and its departments and sites" and authorizes the police "to close all trade union offices and bases and to take control of unions' assets properties and documents, furniture and computers."

The leader of Britain's Trades Union Congress has called upon the Iraqi government "to withdraw the order, and allow unions to operate freely, underpinned by a fair, just and ILO-compliant labour law."

The Iraqi trade union movement is calling on trade union members everywhere to raise their voices in protest.

Posted By

Chilli Sauce
Jul 25 2010 10:40

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Chilli Sauce
Jul 25 2010 10:41

So I've just done a quick google search on this and this hasn't had a bit of coverage in the mainstream media. Literally, the only sites carrying anything about this are those of unions or left-wing organizations.

Benjamin Melançon
Jul 26 2010 15:06

Could someone point to / scan in the original documents? I checked out the Ministry of Electricity site and the news page (in English) is blank -- http://www.moelc.gov.iq/news_en.aspx

-- there is, however, a Demotivational poster used as a graphic (with the demotivational slogan tactfully clipped off!)

cobbler
Jul 26 2010 20:42

Is this what you're after?

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18242-f0.cfm

includes this link:

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18242-f0.cfm
if you can read arabic.

baboon
Jul 28 2010 12:12

There's an article in The Guardian today from an Iraqi exile talking about this. The British TUC has denounced this "abuse of power", a TUC that has supported British imperialism to the hilt. Though US "protectorate general", Paul Bremner revived Saddam's "decree 150" banning public sector unions, occupying forces are more likely to set up their own "free" trade unions as in Germany and Japan after WWII in order to keep a tighter control over the working class.

The lack of electrical supply and the issue of corruption has given rise to substantial demonstrations in Baghad at least. The Iraqi government described the demonstrators as "hooligans" and used troops to stop the protests.

Chilli Sauce
Jul 28 2010 14:36

Did a quick search on the Guardian website, but to no avail, do you have a link?

baboon
Jul 28 2010 15:30

Sorry, no. It's on page 30, around the "comments" section - by Sami Ramadini.

Jo Bainbridge
Jul 28 2010 18:43

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/28/too-late-blix-iraq-chilcot

by Sami Ramidani, a senior lecturer in sociology at London Metropolitan University and political refugee from Saddam's regime

Hope this is useful!