Iraqi oil workers win strike

Oil workers on strike in Iraq win a pay increase and profit-sharing.

Submitted by Steven. on August 25, 2006

Reuters reported that striking oil workers in southern Iraq on Wednesday ended action that closed the main pipeline supplying Baghdad with refined oil products a day after they had won higher pay, a union leader said.

"We received a document from the ministry of oil. It is a document to increase our salaries and to pay us (a) share in seasonal profits," Hassan al-Asadi said.

Asadi is the head of a workers' syndicate representing over 700 employees from the stated-owned General Company for Oil Lines and Pipes in the southern cities of Basra and Nassiriya.

Tuesday's action did not have any impact on oil exports, oil ministry and union officials had said.

Asadi said the oil minister had agreed to meet with a union delegation in the next 48 hours.

But he warned that the workers would go back on strike on Sunday if remaining grievances about management practices were not resolved.

Basra accounts for most of Iraq's crude exports.

Political parties in the south have demanded greater control over revenues from the oil produced there and greater autonomy from Baghdad.

Security in Basra has deteriorated this year.

In May, a Shi'ite faction there said it had the power to halt oil exports.