American Samizdat

Saturday, August 04, 2007. *
In a disturbing development, the Iraqi Oil Minister, Mr. Hussein Shahrastani, has effectively ordered his ministry to apply a 1987 law issued under Saddam to ban the 26,000 member Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU). This is the clear meaning of the Ministry directive couched in terms of merely applying an earlier instruction not to recognize unregistered NGOS. A copy of the ministry’s directive was obtained by the union and sent to Naftana.

The directive, dated 18 July 2007, states: ‘The minister has directed that all members of all unions be banned from participating in any committee if they use their union identification, since these unions have no legal status to work within the state sector. They should not be permitted to use the offices and equipment of the [ministry’s] companies, because they do not have legal status within the state sectors.’ All necessary measures should be taken to implement the minister’s directive within a maximum of two weeks, it concluded.

In a message to Naftana, the union’s president, Hassan Juma`a, affirmed that the union would not recognize the minister’s decision, stressing that the oil minister has been fighting against trade union work because of the patriotic stands of the IFOU. “We are working for Iraq," he declared.
posted by the thistle at 8:38 AM
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