Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Int'l Solidarity Pressuring Iraqi Gov't to Back Off Anti-union Stance?

According to the Public Service International federation of public workers' unions:

Pressure from PSI has forced a rethink on trade union rights in Iraq. Abdullah Muhsin of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers told PSI that the deputy prime minister has met the union to discuss the possibility of repealing laws that currently ban public service unions.

“This was due to international pressure from unions, including PSI,” he said. Apparently, the emergency motion adopted by congress has had some impact. The Government has also indicated that it may release union funds, which it has seized.

Hangaw Abdullah Khan of the Kurdish Federation of Workers stated, “We need international support for a new labour law in all Iraq.”

The Federation of Workers’ Councils of Iraq also supports the emergency resolution which calls for the union ban to be lifted. The Federation has called for a co-ordination committee to oppose privatisation and support women’s rights.

PSI says the blanket ban on unions for public sector workers flouts UN conventions and undermines efforts to build democracy. A separate PSI resolution, from the American Federation of Teachers, opposes the war in Iraq and calls on the US government and coalition partners to withdraw from the country.

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