Press release: by the Iraqi Labor Unions regarding the Interventions and Violations Carried out by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
Violations to the freedoms of organization of unions is continuing and have been repeated in many procedures and practices of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which inhibits the right of freedom of organization to unions and its diversity.
The correspondence of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, which stipulates the prevention to deal with labor unions and syndicates, and coerces to deal exclusively with a government union founded by the government itself, is a flagrant violation of freedom of association and protection of the right to organize.
For that purpose, the below-noted representatives of Iraqi unions met on Saturday, July 13, 2013 in Baghdad. The following statement has been released to confirm the following points:
Rejection of the methods of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in its refusal to deal with the Iraqi labor unions and syndicates, and its dependence on one union which it had contributed to found directly and prejudicially during the presidency of the Minister of Labor to the Ministerial Supreme Committee supervising the implementation of the Governing Council decision No. 3 of 2004 and its preparation committee, in violation of the trade union principles, and its direct intervention in the internal affairs, works, and activities of the Iraqi trade union movement and in violation of the Freedom of Association and the Protection of the Right to Organize No. 87 of 1948, and the Arabic treaty No. 8 of 1977.
Rejection of the conduct and practices of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in issuing decisions, instructions, and directions which impose that no one must deal with any union other than the union of “the ministry”. Since such measures also violate article (22, Third) of the Constitution of Iraq.
The Iraqi labor unions while reaffirming their position in the belief that such actions and interventions are incompatible with the Arab and international labor standards and with the era of change in the new Iraq, call for the abolition of these measures and the recognition of the right to freedom of association and protection of trade union organizations without any interference from the government or any other party whatsoever.
Ali Rahim Ali
General Federation of Trade Unions in Iraq
Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq
General Federation of Workers’ Unions in Iraq
Hassan Jumaa Awad
Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq
July 14, 2013