Support Iraqi oil workers’ strike against privatization


Iraqi oil workerFrom the RESPECT site in Britain:

Iraqi oil workers appeal for solidarity as strike against privatisation looms

09/05/2007

Iraq’s largest oilworkers’ trade union plans to go on strike on 10th May, in protest at the controversial oil law currently being considered by the Iraqi parliament.

The move threatens to stop all exports from the oil-rich country.

Hassan Jum’a Awwad, President of the Federation of Oil Unions has appealed for solidarity from the international labour movement: “The federation calls on all unions in the world to support our demands and to put pressure on governments and the oil companies not to enter the Iraqi oil fields.”

Sinister threats have been directed at the Federation and its members.

Hassan Jum’a Awwad, the Federation’s President said: “As soon as the Federation called for the strike, many of our members and officials were physically threatened …with the aim of thwarting the strike and undermining the message of the strike organisers.”

Sources in Basra have said that death threats have been made against union leaders.

The oil law proposes giving multinational companies the primary role in developing Iraq’s huge untapped oilfields, under contracts lasting up to 30 years.

Oil production in Iraq, like in most of the Middle East, has been in the public sector since the 1970s.

The Union, representing 26,000 oil workers, has held three previous strikes since 2003, each time stopping exports, for up to two days at a time.

The announcement of the strike has spurred negotiations with the Ministry of Oil, which are ongoing. …

The Union is not alone in its condemnation of the current oil law.

Opponents of the law also include all of Iraq’s other trade unions, a number of political parties, and a group of over 60 senior Iraqi oil experts.

What you can do:

• Rush messages of support to the Federation of Oil Unions – email info@basraoilunion.org
• Join the demonstration called by Hands Off Iraqi Oil at Shell’s AGM Tuesday 15 May 2007, 8.30am – 12 noon, Novotel London-West Hotel and Convention Centre, 1 Shortlands, Hammersmith, London W6 8DR, (Nearest tube – Hammersmith)

Contact: Ewa Jasiewicz, Naftana, UK Support Group for the IFOU and Hands Off Iraqi Oil

Campaign 0044 7749 421 576 freelance@mailworks.org

www.handsoffiraqioil.org

See also here.

Corruption and oil production in Iraq: here.

Railway strike in Iraq: here.

3 thoughts on “Support Iraqi oil workers’ strike against privatization

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