Union getting active? Just 'transfer' the leaders to Siberia

Imagine that no one in your workplace has been paid overtime since 2007, and that all new jobs coming up are being filled by your boss’s family. You present a collective complaint to management. You show up at work the next day to learn that the company are transferring you to its equivalent of the Vladivostok office.

This is exactly what management of the Southern Oil Company in Basra, Iraq, are trying to do to four key union leaders of the Refinery Workers’ Union: Ibrahim Radhi, President of the Refinery Workers Union and Vice President of the umbrella Iraqi Federaton of Oil Unions (an ICEM affiliate); Ala' Sabah Miri'e, Refinery Workers Union Vice President and President of the Central Council of the IFOU; Faraj Rbat Mizba, Refinery Workers Union media officer and IFOU

Central Council member; and Khez'al Kadhim.Similar tactics have been tried in Oil industry worksites before, and our international union pressure forced management to back off. Urgent action – and yes, this includes emailing! – can stop this again. Please sign this Labour Start appeal asking the Iraqi Oil Minister to rescind the transfer orders and allow the union to properly represent their members’ interests. 

At the TUC, we’ve protested against this blatant union busting to the Iraqi Embassy in London. We’re also proud to support the campaign by Iraqi unions to finally stamp out this sort of harassment and allow workers a real say in their workplace by calling on the government to implement a fair, just and ILO-compliant labour law.

Ben Moxham

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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