Labor - Iraq

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Nine Years After Ouster of Saddam Hussein, Workers Still Toil Under His Labor Law

AFL-CIO, May 4, 2012 Nine years since US troops entered Iraq to oust the regime of Saddam Hussein, work and life in Iraq are - to paraphrase Thomas Hobbes - nasty, brutish and hard. Iraq is a resource-rich country, yet workers hardly earn enough to feed their families. Economic revival has been slow and sporadic, and working Iraqis are seeing little in the way of progress after the long occupation and withdrawal. Sectarian violence means that travel to work can be a risk in many cities, and indiscriminate roadside bombs continue to kill people just trying to work to maintain their families. For retirees, the situation is worse ... Nine

UN calls rights situation in Iraq ‘fragile’

Sapa-AFP, August 8, 2011 A UN report released on Monday said the human rights situation in Iraq is still “fragile,” citing issues including economic and political stagnation, continued violence and attacks on minorities. “The human rights situation throughout Iraq remains fragile as the country slowly transitions from a conflict to post-conflict country that faces enormous development challenges,” the 2010 Report on Human Rights in Iraq said. “Widespread poverty, economic stagnation, lack of opportunities, environmental degradation and an absence of basic services constitute ’silent’ human rights violations that affect large sectors of the population,” it said. ... UN

Basra leaders threaten lawsuit

Ali Abu Iraq & Ben Lando, Iraq Oil Report, November 24, 2011 Basra - The Basra Provincial Council on Tuesday voted to file a lawsuit challenging the imminent, multi-billion-dollar joint venture between the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi. Officials said they wanted more local involvement in the contracting process, particularly in determining compensation policies – one of several key demands that delayed the deal's approval for more than three years, following a September 22, 2008, signing of a Heads of Agreement in Baghdad. Iraq's Cabinet gave final approval to the contract on November 15. ... Basra

Iraq vows to end Exxon and Kurdistan deal

Reuters, November 20, 2011 Iraq's government said it would move to end a major contract with Exxon Mobil after the US oil giant signed a deal with semi autonomous Kurdistan to explore fields there which Baghdad on Wednesday called a violation of the law.

 Exxon's agreement in Kurdistan and Baghdad's response have set up a power struggle between the Iraqi central government and multinational oil companies over the potential resources in the northern Kurdish region.

 Baghdad and Kurdistan's regional government are in a long running political dispute over oil and land rights ... Iraq

Anatomy of a Deal

Asri Mousa, Iraq Oil Forum, November 19, 2011 Iraq has been, since 2008, negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell to establish a joint gas company to capture flared gas from three giant oil fields in the province of Basra. The joint venture is based on a proposal by Iraq to create a joint world class gas company with Iraq’s state‐owned South Gas Company (SGC) to hold 51% stake and Shell and another partner to hold the remaining 49%. Initially, Shell was hesitant to accept three prerequisites in Iraq’s proposal: the first was the priority of meeting local demand for the products of the proposed company ... Anatomy

Iraq's Oil Laws: which way ahead?

Iraq’s legal framework for the oil industry remains as unfinished as the country’s transport, electrical and bureaucratic systems. Patrick Osgood, Arabian Oil & Gas, November 15, 2011 Six years after control of Iraq was handed to Iraqis, the country still has an odd kind of legal problem: it doesn’t have enough law. The country remains without an oil law that would create a legal structure for the contracts the government signs with foreign oil companies, a proper state ownership structure to manage Iraq’s stake in its oil, or an equitable division of oil revenues among the country's competing factions. In political terms the three are closely intertwined. ... Iraq

Oil workers face retribution

Kamaran Al-Najar, Iraq Oil Report, June 1, 2011 Kirkuk - Unionists in Iraq's oil sector have been fined and days ago were relocated to remote locations as part of a campaign of seeming retaliation against their role in organizing workers. Jamal Abdul-Jabbar Akram, president of the Oil and Gas Workers’ Union of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), said he has been transferred after his organization staged a February rally outside the headquarters of the state-owned North Oil Company (NOC). In a separate incident, according to a ministerial order issued in February, recently obtained by Iraq Oil Report, Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi fined 16 workers nearly $60,000 ... Oil

Call For Immediate Release of All Detainees Arrested For Peaceful Activities

Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, May 31, 2011 The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) calls on the Iraqi government to immediately release all detainees who have been arrested due to peaceful protest activities. ICSSI also asks the Iraqi Judiciary Council and Iraqi Bar Association to provide legal protection for these detainees and insure their personal safety. An increasing number of Iraqi activists are being subject to arrest because of their participation in the peaceful demonstrations that Iraqis – particularly in Baghdad - are witnessing every week since last February. These demonstrations stemmed from civil movements struggling against corruption ... Call

Basra oil workers’ boycott imminent

Ben Lando, Iraq Oil Report, May 17, 2011 Baghdad - Workers at the Rumaila oilfield, and possibly Zubair and Majnoon, will prevent foreign workers from entering the sites Tuesday, according to an internal union memo. The three fields account for more than half of Iraq's production. Rumaila is the country's largest field and has been signed to BP and the Chinese National Petroleum Corp. to develop as part of a massive plan to increase oil production capacity with the help of international oil companies (IOCs). Workers throughout the state-owned South Oil Company (SOC) have complained that they are not being properly compensated, after a bonus given to BP's Rumaila Operating Organization (ROO) staff ... Basra

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

The Government of Iraq Takes Arbitrary Measures Against the GFIW

General Federation of Iraqi Workers, April 27, 2011 The Higher Ministerial Committee, overseeing the implementation of the Decree of the Governing Council No. 3 of 2004, on 17.04.2011, committed illegal, illegitimate and arbitrary measures against the rights of our General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), by issuing circular numbers 95 and 96. They were the following, firstly, the dismissal of the Executive Bureau of the GFIW, secondly, the authorisation of the Ministerial Preparatory Committee (MPC) for the Elections, to renew and issue memberships to trade unionists. Both measures are in clear violation of the law and pave the way for rigging elections for narrow partisan political objectives. ... The

Massive Demonstrations Shake the Centre of Southern Oil Company in Basra, Iraq

Iraq Freedom Congress, May 9, 2011 Hundreds of workers walked off the job in protest, which rocked the headquarters of Southern Oil Company in Bab al-Zubayr in the southern city of Basra. The workers have come from oil fields in Basra; from North and South Rumaila, Albirjisya, West of Qurna and Majnoon and were led by the General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions. The workers raised slogans condemning corruption, while trying to bring all corrupt officers to justice. Among the corrupt officers includes the deputy director-generals of Southern Oil Company and director of trade. To confront the demonstrators, the management of the company called security forces. ... Massive

Interview with Iraqi Union Leader

US Labor Against the War, October 21, 2010 What follows is the transcript of an international conference call conducted on October 7, 2010, between Australian trade unionist Mansour Razaghi of the Confederation of Mining & Energy Unions, and Falah Alwan, President of the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI): What issues are important now that are effecting all unions? ... Interview

Labor Rights in Occupied Lands

US Busting Labor Unions in Iraq. Sherwood Ross,, October 17, 2010 It is only in comic books and Hollywood movies that America's superheroes exist to defend the underdog. In practice, the armies of America have fanned out around the globe to show they are the willing servants of the corporate overdog. As Noam Chomsky writes in his book “Imperial Ambitions” (Metropolitan), “You can almost predict (US) policy by that simple principle: Does it help rich people or does it help the general population? And from that you can virtually deduce what's going to happen.” There is no more disgraceful example than Iraq. ... Labor

ExxonMobil Awards Contract to Halliburton for West Qurna (Phase 1) Field in Southern Iraq

Halliburton Corporation, October 15, 2010 Halliburton has been awarded a wellwork integrated services contract by ExxonMobil Iraq Ltd. for refurbishment of wells in the West Qurna (Phase 1) field in southern Iraq. Halliburton will provide on-site logistics and technical support for both rigless and rig-assisted workovers. Other services provided by Halliburton include provision of a workover rig, coiled tubing, slickline services, logging, production enhancement and well testing. ... ExxonMobil

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