Second-hand mobile phone solidarity

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date: 21 April 2006

embargo: For immediate use

The TUC has launched an appeal today (Friday) for unions and their members to pass on their used mobile phones to the Iraqi trade union movement as an act of 'second-hand solidarity'.

Unions representing workers in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan face incredible challenges in defending working people and rebuilding democracy. One of their requests for solidarity from British trade unionists is the provision of mobile phones - crucial for any union organiser these days, but especially in Iraq where travel can be dangerous and landlines aren't sufficiently reliable or widespread.

But mobile phones can be expensive to buy in Iraq (and UK phone systems don't work there yet), so buying new ones could eat up scarce union resources. Instead, the Iraqi trade union movement has identified a way of easily converting old European mobile phones for use in Iraq. So now the TUC Iraq Solidarity Committee has opened an appeal for used mobile phones.

TUC General Councillor Sue Rogers, Chair of the TUC Iraq Solidarity Committee, said: 'Rather than throwing your old mobile phone out, put it to good use rebuilding trade unionism in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Their need is great, and this would be such a small effort, but a big contribution.'

Old mobile phones (and their chargers, of course) should be sent to the TUC Aid for Iraq appeal at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Register for the TUC's press extranet : a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

Contacts:

Media enquiries: Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248; M: 07778 158175; E: media@tuc.org.uk

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