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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 04:15 PM CDT

USLAW: Response of President of Federation of Councils and Unions in Iraq to Repression

News ArchiveIraqi Minister of Industry Fawzi Francois Al-Hariri issued directives to ban dealing with trade unions and labor federations accusing them as illegal organizations. The FWCUI was one of the federations mentioned by name. First, we would like to ask the Minister about the legitimacy he referred to! If you meant the formation of the federations by the authority and according to its laws and orders, this will never be a federation, but rather an affiliate and representative of the authority rather than of the worker's interests. If you meant "illegal" according to Resolution 150 and Law 52 of 1987, you do not need to issue any statements in this regard because you will be reiterating your belonging to the former dictatorship. You are determined to fight freedoms under the pretext of what you and your government call laws.


by Falah Alwan, President, Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq


اتحاد المجالس والنقابات العمالية في العراق

FEDERATION OF WORKERS’ COUNCILS AND UNIONS

بغداد – السعدون – شارع الزعيم 20/87/101 رقم ب
Statements & Directives by the Minister of Industry against Trade Unions, Continuation of Fascist Decisions


Iraqi Minister of Industry Fawzi Francois Al-Hariri issued directives to ban dealing with trade unions and labor federations accusing them as illegal organizations. The FWCUI was one of the federations mentioned by name.

First, we would like to ask the Minister about the legitimacy he referred to! If you meant the formation of the federations by the authority and according to its laws and orders, this will never be a federation, but rather an affiliate and representative of the authority rather than of the worker's interests. If you meant "illegal" according to Resolution 150 and Law 52 of 1987, you do not need to issue any statements in this regard because you will be reiterating your belonging to the former dictatorship. You are determined to fight freedoms under the pretext of what you and your government call laws.

It has been more than six years since we have heard the intimate cries and hypocrisy about democracy. This has been going on in conjunction with maintaining the most Fascist/anti-freedom resolutions, namely the resolutions which prohibit the freedom of association in the public sector. Such policies are even applicable in Kurdistan whose leaders and politicians talk about freedoms and democracy and criticize the former regime day and night. The current authorities have added many arbitrary and oppressive procedures against labor activists; such as worker's dismissal and transfer to different work locations.

In your orders, you talked about chaos and work stoppage! However, what is more chaotic than standing still and not being able to operate one of the giant companies affiliated to your Ministry? This company is capable of meeting the local market's needs and ensuring exports and revenues which can contribute to the sustainability and expansion of the company's operations. What is more chaotic and confusing than the intended disoperation of huge companies and threatening them of privatization? What is more chaotic than the incapacity of your Ministry's officials and experts who stand helpless regarding suggesting production and marketing plans?

Your directives considered workers' demands of their rights and organizing non-violent assemblies as chaotic! You warned against dealing with labor federations. Isn't it more chaotic and undermining of worker's rights and lives to suspend the risk allocations and benefits for workers who operate dangerous machines and work with hazardous materials?

You are accusing workers of stopping work and creating chaos. However, it was workers who protected the companies against the looting during the invasion and they sacrificed their lives and formed check points to protect the companies against the looting gangsters and bandits. The workers, by doing so, saved billions of dollars and secured the continuation of work when there was no authority in place. Don't you think that denying them the freedom of expression and the right to organize is the extremist form of oppression and slavery?!

Before ending this letter, we would like to reiterate to you as frankly and clearly as possible that the FWCUI and its activists will continue their organization of workers in non-violent assemblies to demand their rights and we will even expand our movement.

Hundreds of thousands of workers in the Ministry of Industry will not be intimidated or discouraged by your threats. They are capable of not only making you withdraw your decisions but also imposing their will to improve their living standards and organize themselves in free federations and organizations of their own choice.

We urge you to withdraw your hostile statements/directives which undermine the will of thousands of workers in the Ministry of Industry and to recognize the right to organize and not to threaten, punish or harass the activists. We also ask you to abolish the penalties which you have issued against the trade unionists and labor activists.



Falah Alwan

President of the FWCUI

July 22, 2009

HERE IS THE MINISTER'S EDIT TO WHICH THIS STATEMENT RESPONDS:

Republic of Iraq Issue # 25125
Date 17 June, 2009 Ministry of Industry and Mines Legal department To: All companies and public facilities affiliated to this ministry _______________________________________________________________________

It was noticed that there are several entities and illegal structures in some of the general companies that claim they are defending worker's rights, they are dealing with that in an illegal approach to the limit of causing problems and chaos which as a result obstructs the production process in those companies. Some of those names are: ((union federations)), or ((federation of workers councils and unions)) or ((union federations)). Accordingly, the Minister advises employees to avoid dealing with any illegal structures of this kind.

For your information and guidance.

With regards, ((Signature))
Abbas Saeed Abdalla Acting General Manager of legal department
06/15/2009 Copy to:

Minister's office/ FYI with regards Offices of Minister's deputies / FYI with regards Office of general inspector/ FYI with regards All Ministry departments and offices Legal department


http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/arti...p?id=20164
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