Iraq: relocation, relocation, relocation

Jamal Abdul-Jabbar is the President of the Kirkuk Oil and Gas Workers Union in northern Iraq. Recently, he led his members out on strike for safer working conditions, and more rights for contract workers. Now his employers, the state-owned Northern Oil Company has forcibly relocated him to a remote location, away from his work mates and his family.

This is a common method by which Iraqi employers intimidate union leaders – and prevent them leading their union - and deter their fellow workers from getting involved. It is also a breach of workers' right to freedom of association.

But international protests have prevented this sort of employer harassment in Iraq in the past, so the TUC is linking up with the ICEM global union federation (to which Jamal's union belongs) to protest. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written to the Iraqi Embassy in London, and you can send a protest email to the Iraqi Government.

This week, the International Labour Conference opens in Geneva, and the world will be watching the Iraqi Government. Help make sure Iraqi workers have the freedom to protest.

Owen Tudor

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