Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq formed in Iraq

by Hassan Juma’a Awwad Al-Assadi, President
Public Announcement

All are aware of the role that Iraqi labour unions have played in the
previous and present phrases of Iraq's history as the most important
basis of Iraqi society for development and construction.  Unions
continued with their work until they became the object of a conspiracy
on the part of the despotic regime, which stripped them of their rights
in 1987.  After the dictator fell, on 20/04/2003, that is eleven days
after the entry of the occupation forces, activists formed the oil
Union, the first nucleus of which was the Southern Oil Company and the
other oil companies.  The Union masterfully led the process of building
and reconstruction and equipping of the plants and oil installations and
the process of improving living conditions and obtaining the rights of
its members. 

The Union has participated in many international conferences and enjoys
extensive links with international organisations.  The Union has taken a
courageous stand on many sensitive issues related to the capacities of
the Iraqi people and has a clear position vis-à-vis the occupying
forces. 

Building on what has gone before and in accordance with present
experiences of Iraqis as part of embodying the practice of democracy for
the new phase, we announce with God's blessing the formation of the
Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq, with its centre in Basra, composed of
unions representing the oil sector in Basra, Meisan, and DhiQar, as a
Federation specialised in all aspects of the oil sector and part of the
movement of Iraqi labour unions. 

At this moment as we announce the establishment of the Federation, its
doors are open to all workers in the oil sector throughout Iraq from the
north to the south and we welcome the support of all civil society
organisations to this federation which is in the service of the public
interest.

God disposes,
The Executive Committee of the Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq
Basra 12/10/2005

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For past communique's on Privatisation and the Occupation, please read
on:




Communique on Privatisation


GUOE Position on Privatisation

August 2005 - Statement by Union President Hassan Jum'a Awwad Al-Assadi,
translated from Arabic by Dr Kamil Mahdi, University of Exeter

In The Name of God the Merciful and Beneficient

Subject: The Stance of the GUOE in the southern region on privatisation

Greetings (Assalamu Alikum wa rahmatu-allhi wa barakatuhu)

Friends, I wish to convey to you the greetings of your friends the
members of the Executive Board of the Union, and we wish to clarify to
you our view on privatisation, an issue of major concern for us as
workers' movement leaders in this most important of work venues, i.e.
oil. Our stance on this intricate issue is clear and explicit.

The privatisation of the oil and industrial sectors is the objective of
all in the Iraqi state [Government], and we must state that we will
stand firm against this imperialist plan that would hand over Iraq's
wealth to international capitalism such that the deprived Iraqi people
would not benefit from it.

We reaffirm our unshakeable position on this basic issue for the future
of the new Iraq, for we cannot build our country unless its wealth is in
its own possession, and we need your assistance and support as we are
fighting our enemies on the inside and you are our support outside.

The GUOE is the only union which has taken this courageous stance of
fighting privatisation, and we are taking this path for the sake of
Iraq's glory even if it costs us our lives. The reason for this is that
we feel that the Iraqis are capable of managing the their companies and
their investments by themselves, because they have huge capabilities and
technical knowledge.

We want you to know that we transformed the Iraqi Drilling Company from
a non-existent entity into a company that is akin to international one,
and it now owns 13 Drilling Towers which is a pride to all of us. For
that and for all the achievements in the Oil Sector, we stand firm
against privatisation, and I trust you confidence in the Union will not
be shaken, for we have charted our steady and clear path from which we
cannot ever never deviate.

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August 2005

The Stance of the GUOE in the Southern Region Towards the Occupation

By GUOE President Hassan Jumaa Awad Al Assadi

Greetings to you my dear friends,

I would like to convey the greetings of all the union executive
committee members’ greetings and to clarify the union’s opinion. I hope
that you do not listen to the third party who wants to undermine your
trust in the union, for we have set a path for ourselves that all of us
in the union shall not deviate from.

Our stand is frank and clear towards the occupation, and we constantly
demand “the immediate departure of the occupation forces from the
country,” because we are capable of administering the state as Iraqis,
whatever the consequences, and because such ability exists amongst the
Iraqis. The current divisions are caused by the occupation.

I personally talked in the United States with the president of the
AFL-CIO about the occupation and its consequences for the Iraqis and the
calamities and afflictions that the occupation bequeathed the Iraqi
people. We have also demanded that the union should have a steadfast
stand towards the occupation. Our friends at the union’s [AFL-CIO]
conference on 20th July 2005 passed a resolution condemning the
occupation, following our political and union meetings during our visit
to the US starting 10th June 2005. We made clear to all the American
people our stand towards the occupation and its disadvantages. Our union
also issued several statements condemning the occupation during the
attacks [aggression] on the innocents in Hilla, Baghdad and [the whole
of] Iraq.

The union’s stand is frank and clear, and it is an inner [deeply felt]
and patriotic feeling of all the union’s members that the occupation
forces must leave the country immediately, whatever the consequences.
The statements that we issue demanding [our] rights are addressed to the
Iraqi state, which is why we do not mention the occupation in them and
why we issue the occasional specific statements on the occupation and
its drawbacks.

Greetings to all of you,
Hassan Juma’a Awwad Al-Assadi
President of the union