Hundreds of workers and employees of the Public Company of Textile Industries in Hilla organised a strike on 9 October 2008, and demonstrated outside the company. They called for improving their living conditions, and demanded the payment of their wages in accordance with the new salary pay scale No. 22 (2008), in addition to other demands.
The engineer Ghassan abdul-Amir Jassem, the director of engineering department in the factory, explained that they organised this demonstration "to demand their legitimate rights that have been endorsed by the Parliament, and which the Ministry of Finance did not implement."
He added that "the Labour Law and the working class had been marginalized during the former regime, and this marginalisation is still continuing. The Government must work to support the agriculture and industry because their are the pillars of economy."
Jassem pointed out that "all the departments have received the difference in wages except the employees of the Company in Hilla."
The memorandum issued by the strikers, which was addressed to the Governor of Hilla, called for "giving the workers what they are entitled to, in terms of the differences between wages for the period 1st January 2008 - 31 May 2008, in line with their colleagues in other ministries, in addition to danger allowances for being exposed to dangerous and arduous jobs." The memorandum also called for "covering the productive sections with the system of incentives and rewards, and speeding up the formation of a union."
The demonstration was attended by few members of Babil's Governorate (provincial) Council, in addition to Hassan Kadhem al-Salami, the deputy chairman of the General Federation of Workers' Unions in Babil, to express support for the strikers.
Source: "Tareeq Al-Shaab", the central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party (15-10-2008).