Iraq's union crackdown puts progress at risk

Unions in Iraq are a vital antidote to authoritarianism and sectarianism – but the government is determined to break them. Brendan Barber, The Guardian, May 10, 2011 Swimming against the tide of popular uprisings across the region, the Iraqi government is trying to wipe out free and independent trade unions. Two weeks ago it decided that the main trade union body in the country was no longer going to exist. Ministers appointed a government committee, packed with officials from the Sadrist movement, to take over the structures and assets of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) – the Iraqi equivalent of the TUC – and run its upcoming elections. ... Iraq