World unions back Iraqi unions
“Iraq is at a tipping point,” Abdullah Muhsin told a fringe meeting at the world trade union congress in Vancouver today. Speaking about the campaign for a just labour law in Iraq, the international representative of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers said: “We have one of the most notorious labour laws in the world.”
“Not content with Saddam Hussein’s labour law, the Iraqi government passed a decree in 2005 to seize trade union funds, and has now passed another decree banning trade union leaders from travelling to international trade union conferences without permission.” If he returns to Iraq, Abdullah may be arrested for attending the ITUC Congress.
The Congress Resolutions Committee agreed yesterday to support a TUC amendment to back the Iraqi Labour Law Campaign. There is a draft labour law on the stocks, compliant with ILO standards. Abdullah said that the campaign already had the support of the Iraqi President, and just over half the MPs elected at the latest elections – so the campaign was focusing on persuading the union movement’s allies to act.
Abdullah called on unions to write to the Iraqi government and attend an international solidarity conference in Baghdad and Erbil later this year.