Monday, 22 December 2014
General Federation of Iraq Trade Unions (GFITU): Workers’ protests will continue
General Federation of Iraq Trade Unions (GFITU):
Workers’ protests will continue until their demands are achieved
Baghdad – “Tareeq Al-Shaab”
(“People’s Path” – the daily newspaper of the Iraqi Communist Party)
22 December 2014
The Economic Committee in the Iraqi parliament has considered the government’s decision to pay a one month salary to the workers and employees of the self-financing companies of the Ministry of Industry as an ineffective measure, noting that the workers do not bear the government's mistakes. The Committee called for an end to the problem of self-financing and for converting these companies to central funding.
Meanwhile, the General Federation of Iraq Trade Unions (GFITU) stated that withholding workers' salaries is illegal, stressing that labor activists will continue their protests and pressure on the government to address the salaries of this broad sector, to pay all the workers’ entitlements and to focus on the role of the national industry.
In an interview with "Tareeq Al-Shaab" yesterday, Nora Al-Bjarai, member of the parliament’s Economic Committee, said, "the employees have nothing to do with the mistakes of the government and they should get their salaries without cuts". She added that “there is a clause in the budget that provides for the Ministry of Finance to pay the loans of the Ministry of Industry loans .. to end this problem to be get the salaries paid by by the central government."
Tawfiq al-Kaabi, a member of the parliament’s Services and Reconstruction Committee, said that meetings have taken place with the Minister of Industry with regard to the workers of self-financing companies, as well as with members of the Services Committee and other committees “in order to spare any citizen the non-payment of salaries."
Al-Kaabi said in an interview with "Tareeq Al-Shaab" yesterday that "there is a big response by the relevant authorities to resolve the problem of these workers and activate of their projects@. He noted that "the Services and Reconstruction Commission will press the government to activate these factories, such as the lone manufacturing spiral pipes and other plants. The Iraqi economy today is one-sided and needs the support of other sectors such as industry through the operation of these plants."
He added that "many of these plants are ready and do not need a lot of effort to get them running.. they only need a little support from the government". He pointed out that "investment in these plants will provide the economy and the budget additional support in the coming years.
The vice-president of the General Federation of Iraq Trade Unions (GFITU), Hadi Ali, said that "paying a one month salary is not enough. The government should have taken into account the fact that these workers have families, and they need the monthly salary without delay because it is their right". He added that "paying workers’ salaries in installments is not right and non-payment is a violation of the law."
Hadi said in an interview with "Tareeq Al-Shaab" yesterday, that "the General Federation of Iraq Unions (GFITU), along with activists, will continue their campaign and pressure on the government until the issue of teh salaries of this broad sector is tackled". He noted that "there is pressure and lobbying by the unions and activists not only in Baghdad but also in the provinces, that has extended to the parliament and become a popular demand for the payment of all workers' entitlements, as well as focusing on the role of the national industry”.
He said that activating this labor force will help to support the state budget. He added: “We don’t rely on the promises given by the government. We want them implemented on the ground”.