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December 09, 2003

Bush Army Attacks Iraqi Union HQ

Act NOW! to help Iraqi unionists:

On Saturday 6 December 2003 US occupation forces using about ten armoured cars and dozens of soldiers attacked the temporary headquarters of the Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU) in the Karkh District of Baghdad and arrested eight IFTU leaders who were subsequently released. The soldiers ransacked and destroyed IFTU possessions, including posters and banners condemning terrorism, covering the federation's name with black paint, smashing windows, seizing documents, without any explanation or reason.
For more on the union situation in Iraq, click here.

Update: Tim has more, including the fact that while the Bush administration is rewriting Iraqi law governing business and criminal justice, it HAS RETAINED SADDAM'S BRUTAL ANTI-LABOR laws.

Unions and collective bargaining is banned in all the companies left over from the old regime. The US Occupation is enforcing the same low wage scale that Saddam imposed in his last years. As one reporter notes, "Most workers get about $60 a month, a small group gets $120, and a tiny minority (mostly administrators and managers) $180. This is the same wage scale that prevailed under the last few years of the Saddam Hussein regime."

Update: More from David Bacon.

Posted by Nathan at December 9, 2003 08:58 PM