المبادرة الدولية للتضامن مع المجتمع المدني العراقي

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

International solidarity efforts for Hassan Juma Awad and the oil workers of Iraq must continue.

More and more National and International Unions, Labor Federations and Nongovernmental organization (NGOs) are signing our letter to Prime Minister al-Maliki in solidarity with Iraqi union leader Hassan Juma Awad.

Currently 37 National and International Unions and Labor Federations, 32 Local Unions and 44 Nongovernmental organization (NGOs) ;have signed our letter . We have been able to reach out to international partners during the World Social Forum meeting in Tunis.Hassan Juma Awad went to court on March 20 and the South Oil Company brought charges against Hassan Juma, under the Iraqi Penal Code No. (111) 1969, Paragraph 327, accusing him under the section concerning officials who “overstep the bounds of their duty.” He faces imprisonment if, as a result of his actions, “the interests of the state are harmed.” Following a request from Hassan Juma Awad, the trial was postponed to April 7th to give him time to retain a lawyer, then again to April 15th. He is working with his contacts to obtain an Iraqi lawyer from Basra; it is unlikely that this person will have experience with cases involving workers’ rights.

The letter :

To His Excellency Mr. Nouri Al Maliki Prime Minister of Iraq Baghdad-Iraq   Best Greetings, We are deeply concerned about the continuing violations of union rights and freedoms in Iraq, in particular in the oil sector. Hassan Juma Awad, Chairman of the Federation of Oil Unions, has been summoned before the Basra Court, on March 20, where he will face charges of organizing a strike at the Southern Oil Company. However, Hassan Juma Awad declares that these charges are false and that he is being accused as part of a Ministry of Oil effort to slander and undermine him and the unions. Also, eight Southern Oil Company workers have been summoned to the General Inspector’s Office in the Ministry of Oil in order for the Ministry to investigate their role in recent demonstrations in Basra, where workers engaged in peaceful protest to express their legitimate demands. The Iraqi constitution guarantees freedom of association and peaceful demonstrations, yet over the years, the Ministry of Oil has repeatedly taken disciplinary actions against union activists, including transferring them to distant work sites, reprimanding them, filing criminal complaints against them and imposing heavy fines and penalties on them. The Ministry has banned union organizing at the companies affiliated to it, which is also a violation of ILO convention 98, which Iraq has ratified. These attacks on freedom of association and the right to organize and bargain collectively reflect the government of Iraq’s intention to hold on to repressive laws and policies issued under the Saddam Hussein regime. Decree 150 of 1987, which bans union organizing in the public sector, is clear evidence of that, as is the continued enforcement of labor law number 71 and the union organizing law number 52 of 1987, both of which are in contradiction with ILO conventions and international labor standards, though Iraq has ratified sixty six international labor conventions. The Iraqi government’s continued repression of freedom of association and worker rights, based on laws issued under a dictatorship, is in direct contradiction with the principals of democracy and justice that the Iraqi government promises its people. The government of Iraq should immediately cancel the orders issued by the Ministry of Oil to union activists, including all transfer orders, reprimands and arbitrary penalties against union activists. Charges against Hassan Juma Awad, and any other workers   who have had retaliatory legal action taken against them, should be dropped. All workers, including public sector workers, must be permitted to freely join trade unions, without government interference in union activities. All workers must be guaranteed freedom of association and freedom of expression. Finally, we urge you to act to expedite the passage of the new labor law, in compliance with International labor standards, allowing all workers the right to join unions and bargain collectively. We look forward to your positive response on these urgent and important matters. Sincerely,

National and International Unions and Labor Federations

No.

Name Country

1

AFL-CIO [American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations] USA

2

Batay Ouvriye Haiti

3

Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, IBT USA

4

Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, AEGC USA

5

Central Única dos Trabalhadores [CUT] Brazil

6

Confédération des Syndicats Autonomes Senegal

7

Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro [CGIL] Italy

8

Confederazione dei Comitati di Base [COBAS] Italy

9

CNT Solidarité Ouvrière France

10

Fédération Générale des Postes et Télécommunication et centre d’appel (FGPTT UGTT) Tunisia

11

Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq [FWCUI] Iraq

12

Federazione Impiegati e Operai Metallurgici-CGIL Italy

13

General Federation of Iraqi Workers [GFIW] Iraq

14

GMB Trade Union England

15

International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots USA

16

International Trade Union Confederation [ITUC] International

17

International Transport Workers’ Federation International

18

Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers Russia

19

National Gathering of Farmers of the Morocco Union for Labor Morocco

20

National Union of Journalists UK

21

Norwegian Transportworkers Union, Oslo Norway

22

Organisation Générale Indépendante des Travailleurs, Travailleuses d’Haïti (OGITH) Haiti

23

Organization of Construction Workers in Kurdistan Iraq

24

Or.S.A.- Ferrovie Italy

25

Service Employees International Union [SEIU] USA

26

SNAPAP ALGERIE Algerie

27

Sud Aerien France

28

Syndicat Snapap Algerie Algeria

29

Textile Workers Union Iran

30

Trade Union Congress [TUC] UK

31

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association UK

32

Transport Workers Union Australia

33

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians UK

34

Union Syndicale Solidaires France

35

UNITE UK

36

United Steelworkers USA

37

United Transportation Union USA
Local Unions

1

AK Internationalismus der IG Metall Berlin, IGM Germany

2

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, Retirees Chapter 36 USA

3

American Federation of Teachers, Local 2026, AFL-CIO USA

4

American Federation of Teachers, Local 2121, AFL-CIO USA

5

American Federation of Teachers, Local 3220, AFL-CIO USA

6

American Postal Workers Union, Local 10 USA

7

Berkeley Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1078, AFL-CIO USA

8

California Federation of Teachers USA

9

Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local 1180 USA

10

Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario [ETFO] Canada

11

Engineering Professions Union-Southern Electricity Sector-Basra Iraq

12

Faculty and Staff Federation of the Community College of Philadelphia, AFT 2026 USA

13

International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 340 USA

14

Maryland and District of Columbia AFL-CIO USA

15

Merseyside TUC UK

16

Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council USA

17

National Association of Letter Carriers Branch, 1563 USA

18

Office and Professional Employees Int’l Union Local 2, AFL-CIO USA

19

Pennsylvania Federation BMWE, Division of the Teamsters USA

20

Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women, AFL-CIO USA

21

Public and Commercial Services Union [PCS] UK

22

TUC, Merseyside UK

23

SEIU, Local 503, Oregon USA

24

Unione Sindacale di Base P.I. giunta Regione Lombardia Italy

25

United Auto Workers, Local 2320, Southeast Region USA

26

United Steelworkers Local 675 USA

27

Unite the Union, Branch EM/10-465 UK

28

Unite the Union, Branch LE128 UK

29

Unite the Union, Branch SE202 UK

30

Unite the Union, Branch 939 UK

31

UPTE-CWA [University Professional & Technical Employees] 9119, AFL-CIO USA

32

Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO USA
NGOs

1

Alliance for Global Justice USA

2

Alliance for Peace & Justice of Western Massachusetts USA

3

ARCI [Associazione Ricreativa e Culturale Italiana] Italy

4

Azidi solidarity and fraternity league Iraq

5

Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice USA

6

Bund for Soziale Verteidigung Germany

7

cait ni cadlaig UK

8

Campaign Against Criminalising Communities UK

9

Campaign for Labor Rights USA

10

Center for Constitutional Rights USA

11

Counterfire UK

12

Defending Dissent Foundation USA

13

Ecumenical Peace Institute/Clergy and Laity Concerned USA

14

The Free University of Liverpool UK

15

Greater New Haven Peace Council USA

16

Haiti Action Committee USA

17

Haldane Society UK

18

Ibn Khaldun Institute Poland

19

Iraq Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) International/Iraq

20

Jobs with Justice USA

21

Kurdistan Without Genocide Iraq

22

Labor Beat Chicago USA

23

Manawatu Employment Action Group New Zealand

24

Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition, Los Angeles USA

25

Miria Bisi Per la liberta’ di espressione ed organizzazione. Italy

26

Oakland Education Association USA

27

Peace Action USA

28

Peter Tatchell Foundation UK

29

Platform London UK

30

Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq Iraq

31

Rete Romana di Solidarietà con il Popolo Palestinese Italy

32

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows USA

33

Solidarity Australia

34

Stop the War Coalition UK

35

Tammuz Organization Iraq

36

Time Center Iraq

37

Un Ponte Per… [UPP] Italy

38

U.S. Labor Against the War [USLAW] USA

39

U.S. Labor for Friendship with Cuba USA

40

United for Peace and Justice [UFPJ] USA

41

War on Want UK

42

Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice USA

43

Womens International League for Peace and Freedom USA

44

Working Democracy of Minneapolis, MN USA