TUC Iraq Bulletin 4 - September 2006

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Hadi never died

The TUC has published an important booklet on trade unionism in Iraq, to commemorate the life of Hadi Saleh, the international secretary of the then IFTU who was brutally tortured and murdered in Baghdad in January 2005. Written by Abdullah Muhsin of the GFIW (the IFTU's successor) and Alan Johnson of Edge Hill University, the booklet was launched in July at the House of Commons by Dave Anderson MP, with Hadi's widow, Korea Goda.

The booklet is titled Hadi never died: Hadi Saleh and the Iraqi trade unions, and it contains an appreciation of Hadi, a history of the Iraqi trade union movement, and many examples of international solidarity by UK and other trade union movements.

Profits from the booklet will go to the TUC Aid for Iraq Appeal, but there are reductions for bulk purchases. As well as raising funds for trade unions in Iraq, the booklet is a useful educational (and motivational) tool. If you can publicise the booklet, please do - you could:

Copies of the booklet are available to order online from the TUC at the cover price of £10 at www.tuc.org.uk/publications/viewPub.cfm?frmPubID=479.

TUC Congress events

The TUC held two events at Congress. The first was a book-signing session to promote sales - TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber will join co-author Abdullah Muhsin to sign copies of the booklet.

The second was a TUC Iraq Solidarity Committee fringe meeting chaired by Sue Rogers which will took place on Wednesday 13 September after Congress ended for the day. She was joined by Adnan Alssaffar of the GFIW printing and mechanics union, Dave Anderson MP (Chair of Labour Friends of Iraq) and Norma Stephenson from Unison.

Unions in Iraqi Kurdistan

In April, TUC Iraq Solidarity Committee chair Sue Rogers and member Tim Lezard took part in a delegation to Iraqi Kurdistan organised by Labour Friends of Iraq (LFIQ) and supported by Unison. Dave Anderson MP and Unison's Norma Stephenson, as well as LFIQ's Harry Barnes, Clive Furness and Gary Kent, took part in the delegation which met trade unionists and government officials in Kurdistan, as well as GFIW representatives who travelled north to meet them.

The report of the delegation, which was presented by Sue Rogers to the July TUC General Council, is on the web at www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-12289-f0.cfm

TSSA Conference Resolution

This year's annual conference of the TSSA: the union for people in transport and travel, carried the following resolution on Iraq:

'That this Conference is deeply concerned that Decree 8750 issued by the Iraqi Council of Ministers seeks to overturn decisions regarding trade union rights and believes that trade union freedom is an essential condition for the protection of working women in Iraq.

'Conference is also mindful of the potential damage and erosion of women's civil rights should adoption of religious codes in Sharia law become widespread in Iraq as a result of the Iraqi Constitution.

'Conference asks the EC to support any campaign adopted by the TUC to highlight restrictions on working women's role in Iraqi society, and to lobby the Government accordingly.'

Looking ahead

This Autumn, the TUC will be helping with two international delegations for Iraqi trade unionists.

At the end of October, the TUC will be assisting the trade union confederations of Iraq (GFIW and FWCUI) and Iraqi Kurdistan to attend the unification Congress of the new international trade union confederation in Vienna.

Then later in the year the TUC is planning with UK transport unions to bring a delegation of transport union representatives from Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan to Britain for meetings, some on-the-job training about trade unionism, and to develop solidarity links.

New solidarity leaflet

The TUC is relaunching its appeal for funds for the Iraqi trade union movement, and in particular is calling on trade union members and branches to make regular payments to allow the Iraqi trade union movement to do things which require continuing funding, such as the publication of union journals in Iraq.

A striking leaflet will soon be available for bulk purchase by unions for inclusion in journals, bulletins and mailings to members - a proof is at www.tuc.org.uk/extras/iraqleaflet.pdf Let Owen Tudor at [email protected] know how many you'd like and whether you want it overprinted with your union logo for a small additional cost. Or could you use it as artwork for union journals?

TUC Aid for Iraq Appeal

The TUC Iraq Solidarity Committee, chaired by Sue Rogers from the General Council, works in solidarity with the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), the trade union movement in Iraqi Kurdistan and other trade union organisations in Iraq. Members are drawn from seventeen TUC affiliated unions.

The TUC continues to raise money for Iraqi trade unionists. This has been used for bringing Iraqi trade unionists to Britain and to the ICFTU World Congress, supporting global union training projects and more. Click to give money online or find out more.

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