For the period of (1st of April 2023 – 30th June 2023)
Despite the challenges faced by the monitoring team of the Iraqi Observatory for Workers’ and Employees’ Rights, they continue to work diligently to monitor all the violations experienced by workers and employees, which can be summarized as follows: –
Retirement and Social Security for Workers law legislation:
On May 17, 2023, the Iraqi Parliament voted to legislate the Retirement and Social Security Law for workers, replacing Law No. 39 of 1971. However, labor unions and associations expressed reservations and rejection of certain provisions of the law, stating that they contradict international labor standards regarding social protection and relevant agreements, including Convention 102, which Iraq recently ratified. The parliamentary labor committee rejected the proposals put forth by labor unions and associations, which aimed to safeguard the rights and interests of workers in our country. This was confirmed in a statement by the Iraqi Federation of Labor Unions and Associations, a copy of which our observatory has received.
Legitimacy of Unions and syndicate organizations.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs issued its document numbered (7988) on May 29, 2023, titled “Legitimacy of Unions.” In this document, the ministry announced the right of workers to establish or join unions, citing Article 42/First/C, which guarantees the right to establish and join unions. Iraqi labor unions expressed their satisfaction with this document, considering it a step in the right direction to enhance the role of trade union freedoms, in accordance with Convention 87 of 1948, which Iraq ratified.
termination of the employment of 14 workers in Sulaymaniyah
On April 30th, the Green Iraq Laboratory in Sulaymaniyah terminated the employment of 14 workers who had been with the company for a year and a half to two years. This action was taken because the government requested the company to convert the workers from daily wage to contractual employment. Consequently, the workers were converted and kept under probation for a period of three months. However, during this period, they were unjustifiably dismissed. The workers visited the Directorate of Labor and filed a complaint, but it proved to be ineffective. Subsequently, they resorted to filing a lawsuit against the company in court.
Protests demanding the implementation of the new salary scale.
On April 6th, dozens of employees from the provinces of Wasit, Salahaddin, and Maysan took to the streets in protests demanding the implementation of the new salary scale. They called for fair treatment of this large segment of low-wage employees in ministries and equalization of their salaries with other higher-income departments, in order to achieve social justice.
On April 15th, employees from the province of Najaf Al-Ashraf held a demonstration in Al-Sadrain Square, demanding the enactment of the new salary scale.
On April 16th, employees from the province of Kirkuk staged a protest to demand the modification of the salary scale.
On May 1st, protests were held by employees from multiple provinces, including Maysan, Baghdad, Diwaniyah, Dhi Qar, Babylon, Basra, Nineveh, and Wasit. The demonstrations aimed to demand the legislation of the salary scale.
On May 9th, a protest was held by employees from various entities, including the Directorate of Education in Muthanna, Al-Kut Hospital, the General Directorate of Groundwater in Basra, the Directorate of Agriculture in Muthanna, the Department of Audit in the Treasury Directorate of Maysan, the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Najaf, the Roads and Bridges Authority in Basra, employees of Baghdad Governorate, employees of Dhi Qar Governorate, and employees of Basra Governorate. The protest aimed to demand the legislation of the salary scale.
Protests by employees of the Ministry of Finance.
On April 2nd, employees of the Ministry of Finance held a protest to express their dissatisfaction with the reduction of their allowances.
The employees and workers of the Central Bank building have gone on strike after the Turkish company responsible for the project delayed payment of their salaries.
Protests demanding the creation of job opportunities.
On April 9th, dozens of education graduates gathered in Al-Sadrain Square in Najaf to protest and demand employment. They referred to a letter from the Prime Minister’s Office and the implementation of Decision 315, which includes their appointment.
On April 9th, students who ranked within the top 10 positions (4th to 10th) in government colleges and institutes, both in the morning and evening shifts, protested in front of the Prime Minister’s office. They demanded employment on par with their peers who ranked in the top three positions in their departments. Additionally, on April 18th, they resumed their protests to demand their inclusion in the 2023 employment plan.
On April 16th, education graduates in Najaf staged a protest in front of the Directorate of Education in Najaf, demanding employment opportunities.
On April 16th, education graduates in Babil province staged a protest, demanding employment opportunities.
On April 28th, job-seeking graduates staged a protest in front of the Basra Governorate, demanding employment opportunities.
On April 30th, massive protests took place in Najaf and Babil, with education and administrative graduates demanding employment opportunities.
On May 7th, education graduates in Najaf staged a protest to demand employment opportunities.
On May 7th, hundreds of education and administrative graduates gathered in Tahrir Square and marched towards the Green Zone, specifically in front of the Ministry of Planning, to demand employment opportunities.
On May 14th, Iraqi engineers staged a protest in front of the Green Zone, demanding employment opportunities.
On May 14th, hundreds of education and administrative graduates in Babil province staged a protest, demanding employment opportunities.
On May 14th, engineers in Basra staged a protest in front of the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company, demanding employment opportunities.
On May 16th, the international highway linking Baghdad with the southern provinces, specifically in Diwaniyah, was blocked by demonstrators demanding employment opportunities. The protesters consisted of lecturers and were demanding appointments.
On May 16th, graduates staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Planning, demanding employment and inclusion in the budget. Additionally, graduates from international aviation academies called for their appointment after completing their studies.
On May 16th, graduates from the Technical Institute of Najaf, specifically from the Aviation Technologies department, demanded employment opportunities.
On May 17th, education and administrative graduates in Najaf staged a protest, demanding employment opportunities.
On May 17th, education graduates in Maysan blocked the road leading to the oil companies in Bazrgan as a means of protest, demanding employment opportunities.
On May 21st, graduates from various provinces gathered in Baghdad to protest and demand employment opportunities. They called for equal job opportunities and the creation of employment prospects similar to their peers.
On May 21st, protesters demanding employment opportunities flocked to the protest square in front of the gate of the Oil Products Distribution Company in Dhi Qar.
On May 23rd, the capital city of Baghdad witnessed large-scale protests by graduates of medical, health, and nursing professions for the year 2022. They gathered in front of the Council of Ministers to demand their legitimate rights, specifically calling for the provision of job positions for them.
On May 24th, engineering graduates from Basra blocked the road at the Al-Burjessiya gate, demanding employment opportunities.
On May 26th, education and administrative graduates in Najaf staged a protest in Al-Sadrain Square, demanding employment opportunities.
On May 28th, graduates from educational and administrative colleges in Maysan protested, demanding employment opportunities.
Protests by employees of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals.
On April 11th, employees of the General Company for Textiles and Leather Industries staged a protest in protest against attempts to sell the company’s land and assets.
On April 30th, employees of the Diwaniya Textile Factory held a protest to demand the rejection of corporate restructuring and the implementation of a unified salary scale.
Protests by contract and daily wage workers.
On April 13th, daily wage workers from all provinces of Iraq staged a protest in front of the Green Zone, demanding to be converted to contractual employment in accordance with Decision 315.
On April 27th, daily wage workers and post-October 2nd, 2019 contract employees staged a protest, demanding fair treatment and conversion according to the decision of the Council of Ministers, Decision 315.
On April 27th, a protest was held by higher education wages in front of the Iraqi Parliament, for post-October 2nd, 2019, demanding to be included within the framework of Decision 315 to work on a contractual basis.
On April 29th, employees in Dhi Qar province held a protest and proceeded to close all service departments. They declared a sit-in in front of the Governorate’s headquarters, demanding both the central and local governments to convert their employment status to contractual according to Decision 315.
On May 16th, meter readers on contracts in the Ministry of Electricity staged a protest in front of the Green Zone, demanding their regularization.
On May 21st, contract employees of the Baghdad / Al-Karkh Health Department staged a protest, demanding their conversion to permanent positions.
Protests by employees of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education.
On April 18th, lecturers from the Third Al-Karkh Education Annex staged a protest in front of the directorate, demanding their inclusion in the 2023 budget. They also resumed their protests in front of the Ministry of Education, calling for contractual agreements with them.
From May 11th to May 18th, lecturers from the Third Rasafa Education Annex held protests in central Baghdad, including in front of Al- Jaysh Canal highway towards Al-Muthaffar Square and Tahrir Square, demanding their regularization.
On May 14th, university lecturers in Iraq demanded a vote on Parliamentary Order 170 and their inclusion in the 2023 budget.
On May 15th, lecturers and administrators of Sadr City renewed their protests, demanding their regularization.
On May 18th, protests were renewed in Diwaniyah, in front of the local government building, demanding regularization of employment.
On May 27th, protests by education and administrative employees took place in Babil and Diwaniyah, in front of the directorates of education. They demanded that the Prime Minister stand with them and include them in the federal budget for the year 2023.
Protests by employees of the Ministry of Oil.
On April 28th, employees of the Oil Pipelines and Installations Company staged a protest, demanding the payment of their financial entitlements, the calculation of their seniority for the employees who have been regularized, and a review of transportation allowances based on the type of product.
On April 30th, employees of oil companies staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Oil, demanding the recognition and consideration of their qualifications and certifications.
On May 24th, 29th, 30th, and 31st, employees of refineries in Dhi Qar, Maysan, and Basra staged a protest in rejection of the decision made by the Financial Committee to increase the price of crude oil sold to refineries. This decision would result in financial losses for the refineries and ultimately lead to a halt in their operations.
Protest by the retired community
On May 7th, retirees organized a protest in front of the Green Zone, demanding amendments to the provisions of the retirement law.
Protests by municipal workers.
On May 15th, workers of Akre and Shakar municipalities in Sulaymaniyah declared a strike, protesting the non-payment of their salaries.
Injuries and deaths
|Four workers injured due to the collapse of a building under construction near Al-Shaab International Stadium in Baghdad.|
On May 25th, a delivery worker tragically lost his life after being hit by a car driven by a driver in Mesiloon Square in Baghdad.
|2||Anbar||April||1||On April 13th, the worker Rabih Yahya passed away after being electrocuted while at work.|
|3||Wassit||April||1||On April 21st, the worker Naif Hassan from Al-Zubaidiya district in Wasit province tragically passed away after being electrocuted while working in the electrical maintenance department.|
|On April 24th, a metalworker tragically lost his life in an explosion while repairing a car’s fuel tank in the industrial neighborhood of Kalar, Sulaymaniyah.|
On May 5th, the worker Basim Danyar Bakr passed away after falling from a building at one of the residential construction projects in Sulaymaniyah.On May 16th, the worker Asu Faraj tragically passed away after being electrocuted while working.On May 25th, the worker Marwan Aziz sadly passed away after being electrocuted while working in the Jamjamal district of Sulaymaniyah province.On May 31st, the worker Ismaeil Anwar tragically passed away in a traffic accident in Qurtu sub-district.
|On April 27th, the worker Imran was injured after being electrocuted while working at the Diyala Distribution Directorate.On May 10th, the worker Sajad Mohammed Kazem tragically passed away after being electrocuted while working at the Abi Saida Electricity Directorate in Diyala province.|
|6||Al-Muthana||May||1||On November 5th, the worker Saad Kamel passed away due to an electric shock at the maintenance center of Al Najmi, which is under the Directorate of Electricity Distribution in Al Muthanna.|
|7||Basrah||May||2||1||On May 24th, one worker died, and two others were injured during a maintenance operation inside a large sewage water tank.|
The Iraqi Observatory for Workers and Employees Rights
Since its establishment in early 2020 by a group of union activists and civil society defenders who believe in labor rights, social justice, and the protection of workers and employees from state and employer injustices and violations, the Iraqi Observatory for Workers and Employees’ Rights has aimed to monitor and document violations, assess workers’ rights and labor freedoms, and prepare reports and studies to be presented to relevant authorities. The observatory also provides proposals and key recommendations with the goal of promoting workers’ rights and labor freedoms in the Republic of Iraq.
Additionally, the observatory offers moral and psychological support to workers and employees by providing consultations and studies to create a suitable environment and work towards enhancing democratic principles and peace-building to safeguard the rights of this marginalized group. The observatory does not consider itself a replacement for state institutions but rather sees itself as a partner, with its members being integral parts of society, inspired by their national sense and sense of responsibility in societal development and preserving its achievements and rights. The observatory aims to identify sources of problems and provide effective solutions through its reports, reaching the relevant authorities.
Moreover, the observatory emphasizes peaceful and nonviolent methods of expressing opinions, protesting against violations, and advocating for rights without causing harm or trespassing on public and private properties, while affirming the importance of maintaining social peace, a vital factor for societal progress.
To read the full report with documenting images, click here.