A report on the Oil workers demonstration on the 13th of February, 2013Responding to a call from the Oil workers
defense committee, hundreds of workers from various oil fields (North Rumaila,
South Rumaila, Birjisyya, West Qurna and Bab Al Zubair), on the morning of
Wednesday the 13th of February 2013. The protesters gathered before the main
entrance of the Southern Oil company, the security officers gave their orders to
keep the gates closed, but as the number of protesters increased, the gates were
open and the demonstrators marched towards the Zegurate location where the
office of the company manager and different departments at the HQ. The
protesters shouted their slogans demanding the resignation of the company's
manager and the administrative director, and to kick out Ba'athists who are in
senior leadership position. . Among the slogans :(The people's oil is not for
the people, its just for the thieves), (why did the company manager steal all
the oil?), the protesters carried signs on which they wrote their demands that
included their legitimate worker rights, such as housing, as well bringing
certain figures of corruption to justice.
The deputy manager asked the
demonstrators to form a delegation to meet with him, but the demonstrators
refused and requested him to come meet them at the demonstration site. The
demonstration lasted several hours, and then the committee that organized the
demonstration decided that the workers go back to their work and repeat the
demonstration again on Tuesday at 9 AM also at the company's HQ
Several satellite channels and news agencies covered this event,
and many of the protesters stated that this demonstration as nothing to do with
the protest demonstrations that are taking place in rest of the country, it is
exclusive to the demands of oil workers that are stated in the statement of the
Oil workers defense committee. It's worth mentioning that many of the
demonstrators were threatened by the company security personnel who claimed that
the protesters broke into the locked main gates of the company.
13 Feb. 2013
the statement of The Oil workers' rights defense committee:
"Let us unite to defend our rights, and cripple the corrupt at
the Southern Oil Company
Dear brothers, you all realize that
our struggle with company management is significant, and you have seen how it
confronts us at any time we raise our voices to demand our rights, it does that
with procrastination and punishments.
You have participated in previous
protests and achieved part of your demands, but unfortunately the company
management always goes back to its usual trend and denies those rights.
at the Oil workers' rights defense committee, in which most Oil workers are
represented, have decided to organize a worker's demonstration on Wednesday the
13th February, 2013 at 9 am before the Southern Oil Company HQ office, to resume
our re-stress our demands, we call everyone to focus on the essential demands
and not bring up partial demands that do not represent the oil workers'
The committee also announces that this demonstration has nothing to
do with other demonstrations that are taking place in other parts of Iraq, and
we warn the politicians not to use it for their political agendas.
demonstration is to protest against corruption, and to demand our following
1- To pay the accumulated interests since 2010 that are equal to 365
Billion Iraqi Dinar. We are concerned that with this prevailing corruption,
those interests will be misused.
2- Demanding the construction of houses on
the pieces land (at Al Toba and Al Nakhaila districts) that were distributed to
workers 8 years ago, and to be built by Investment companies, without charging
the workers any down payments. We also demand the distribution of pieces of land
at Al Tannuma district to the eligible company employees.
3- Demanding an
immediate cancellation all resolutions that restrict union work and to issue a
fair labor legislation.
4- To provide medical treatment to workers at the
oil field, that were battle fields at some time and that are polluted with
radioactive uranium, especially South and North Rumaila fields, in special
hospitals. And cover all medical charges by the foreign companies. And to
conduct regular inspections on those hospitals.
5- To ban announcing the
special hospital of oil workers to private investment, and to limit its services
specifically to oil workers and their families, just as the goal was when this
hospital was first opened.
6- Raising the maximum ceiling level of the
financial bonus to oil workers in general, from 1 Million up to 4 Million Iraqi
7- To process the promotions of work category scales (that has been
frozen on fourth level/ stage 11) for the last 6 years.
8- To reveal the
details of the new bonus that has been recently approved by the Ministry of Oil,
and to announce the equation in which its calculated.
9- To re-activate the
overtime shift allowances, and those for the official holidays and hazard, that
were considered, previously.
10- To activate the training and development
unit through including the company's staff in workshops and training program,
especially the ones that are relevant to their job title, also to recognize the
workshops that are conducted at field sites. "
The Oil workers'
rights defense committee
12 February, 2013