Street vendors protest in Iraq

Street vendors protest in Iraq

Street vendors won concessions from municipal and occupation authorities last week when they staged a sit-in, forcing them to reverse an eviction order.

The ICEM reported that a sit-in by street vendors in the southern city of Nasiriya produced a compromise by authorities in negotiations. Street vendors are represented by the Union of Unemployed in Iraq (UUI), part of the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI).

On 22 March, scores of street vendors staged a sit-in and protest aimed at municipal and occupational authorities, who previously have evicted the vendors under a “reconstruction plan of cities” dictum. Last week’s action forced negotiations with street vendor leaders, the UUI, and authorities. The compromise gives street vendors “an alternative location to set up their kiosks/carts on which they depend to support their families,” according to UUI Nasiriyah Branch President Almad Salem.

“This agreement is a first-timer in the recent history of our class struggles with the governorate and will mobilise more of the exploited and oppressed to come forward in unified ranks around their real representatives in order to demand their rights,” he added.

Stated FWCUI Nasiriya Branch Head Ahmad abdel-Sattar, “Authorities did not move towards solving the problem or planning in any way to rid the hundreds of thousands of the unemployed from this decades’ old situation (of poverty). Moreover, they have deepened the crisis by dividing work opportunities among sectarian and political party groups. These authorities further exposed their irresponsibility when they announced their plan of eviction of all street vendors.”

Posted By

Mike Harman
Mar 28 2007 23:08

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