Monday, 22 December 2014
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”.
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
The Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party
holds its regular meeting
The Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist Party held its regular meeting on 14 November 2014. The meeting was preceded by extensive preparations that included party organizations and specialized committees, a meeting of the party’s Central Advisory Board, an ideological seminar on political sectarianism, and a meeting of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Communist Party.
The meeting began with a minute of silence in honor of the martyrs of the Iraqi people and victims of terrorism and violence, and the party members and supporters who passed away in recent months. The participants also commemorated the 10th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Iraqi communist leader Comrade Wadhah Abdul Amir (Sa’doun), and paid tribute to his struggle and fidelity to the Party, the people and the homeland.
The participants considered a number of reports on the performance of the party and its leadership, and the performance of specialized committees and party organizations all over the country and abroad.
The meeting gave exceptional attention to improving leadership work on all levels, expanding the party's interaction with the masses and its impact in this field, striving to build effective party organizations that are fully aware of the daily concerns of people and defend their interests, rights and aspirations. Decisions and recommendations were adopted in these matters.
The meeting discussed the political developments in the country since the previous meeting of the Central Committee in May 2014, and pointed out that this period was characterised by big events that left their mark on the political scene. Among these developments was the invasion by the terrorist Islamic State organisation (Isis) of the city of Mosul, followed by its criminal gangs extending to other provinces and cities, as well as the process of the formation of the new government in the aftermath of parliamentary elections. The latter resulted in a parliament whose composition did not reflect the demand for change raised by the masses and the civil and democratic forces. The new government has thus been the fruit of those election results and the partial change which they reflected. This has offered a glimmer of hope which needs, if it is to expand and open up broader prospects, to be nurtured, requiring a host of prerequisites and the adoption of a new type of thinking.
The meeting concluded that what happened on 10th June 2014 has constituted an important juncture in the overall political situation in the country. It had also military-security, social-political, and moral-psychological repercussions on citizens and the whole society.
The meeting condemned the crimes perpetrated by the terrorist organization Isis against all the constituents of our people. It also praised the steadfastness of the people in the areas that have been plagued by this ugly cancer, and the growing spirit of resistance amongst their ranks.
The meeting warned against underestimating the danger posed by Isis and its schemes, and the black malice it harbors for Iraq and all Iraqis. It also praised the sacrifices of the military and security forces, the Peshmerga, the popular mobilization force and the tribes, what they have done to stop the expansion of Isis and embark on liberating towns and villages, and the victories they have achieved recently.
In this regard, the meeting called for providing all the requirements and conditions for the final victory in the national battle against Isis and for activating factors to drain its resources. In this context, it stressed the need to hold an all-encompassing National Conference, reform the political process and achieve genuine national reconciliation.
The Central Committee meeting emphasized, on the other hand, the need to devote all care and provide all the support and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people and to alleviate their suffering.
The meeting greeted the struggles waged by various social groups and sectors. In this respect, it considered the labor protest movement that developed in recent days, praising it and expressing support for the demands of the workers. It stressed the need for a speedy positive response by the government to these demands, and a serious re-consideration of the State's economic policy and strategy, to ensure building an active, dynamic and multi-resourced national economy and expanding its productive base. The meeting also stressed that the citizens, especially the hard-working and with low-incomes, must be spared the consequences of the poor management of the country’s financial resources since 2003 and the recent decline in global oil prices.
On concluding its meeting, the Central Committee unanimously renewed confidence in its Secretary, Comrade Hamid Majid Mousa, and elected Comrade Raid Fahmi as deputy Secretary. It also elected the Political Bureau of the Central Committee.
An extensive political report about the deliberations of the meeting will be issued soon.
IRAQI COMMUNIST PARTY
Solidarity with the Iraqi people
and their democratic forces
On the 10th of June 2014, the terrorist organization known as “Isis”, and its allies including remnants and supporters of Saddam’s fascist dictatorship, launched an attack on Mosul, seizing control of Iraq’s second largest city and unleashing a wave of barbaric crimes against tens of thousands of innocent civilians. In the days and weeks that followed, the whole world witnessed crimes against humanity being committed against innocent Iraqi civilians. Religious and ethnic minorities were targeted, especially Christians, Yezidis,Turkmen and Shabak, with the aim of uprooting indigenous communities that have peacefully lived and coexisted in Iraq for over two thousand years. Atrocities were committed against Yazidis, including the abduction of hundreds of young women and children, and tens of thousands were forces to seek refuge on Mount Sinjar where they were besieged and faced a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. The mass killing of around 1700 unarmed young military recruits at Camp Speicher in Salahuddin province was another heinous war crime aimed at igniting sectarian strife. The terrorist onslaught has created a humanitarian catastrophe. More than 1.6 million people have been displaced this year by violence in Iraq, with 850,000 fleeing their homes in August, according to the UN.
These barbaric crimes and the perpetrators must be unequivocally condemned by all progressive forces, with effective support and solidarity extended to the Iraqi people.
Background to recent developments
The recent grave developments cannot be isolated from what Iraq has lived through in recent years. The country has been in a deep and total crisis caused by the legacy of long years of tyranny and dictatorship, the consequences of the U.S. occupation and the interference of regional powers. Its roots lie in the sectarian-ethnic power-sharing system that has existed since 2003. The crisis has also exposed the agenda of the ruling political forces and their fighting to maintain positions in political power and privileges, while the people’s suffering and anger intensify as a result of rampant unemployment, corruption and poor public services, health and education, in addition to the deteriorating security situation.
The infighting among ruling groups, over power and privileges, has provided a fertile ground for extremist Islamist and shadowy groups to intensify acts of terrorism, carrying out heinous atrocities, with the aim of pushing Iraq into sectarian strife and civil war. More than 7000 people were killed in 2013, by waves of car and suicide bombings. During the last two months, in July and August 2014, around 3000 people were killed. The victims are mainly innocent civilians, including workers and the unemployed in poor districts.
The Iraqi Communist Party had repeatedly warned against the danger of the country sliding once again into sectarian strife, and called for urgent action by the democratic forces, and for popular initiatives, to safeguard Iraq’s national unity.
Social and economic factors
It is also important to highlight briefly the socio-economic nature of the present political system in Iraq. The country has a rentier economy that is heavily dependent on oil revenues, with marginalized productive sectors, and is highly consumerist, relying heavily on imports. As a result, there has been a growth of comprador and parasitic strata accumulating enormous wealth from public money grabbed through corruption, big contracts with the state, in collusion with influential officials, as well as speculation, smuggling of funds and other parasitic activities.
There is a tendency, which is becoming increasingly obvious, of the tangling of interests between influential political forces in power and the growing parasitic and comprador strata. These forces as whole, with support from international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, organisations of the UN and others, stand for transforming the Iraqi economy to a total market economy and breaking up what is left of the public sector through privatization and other measures that are inspired by the ideological arsenal of neo-liberalism. The Iraqi Communist Party firmly stands against these policies, puts forward its alternatives and works to develop alignments bringing together those have an interest in resisting this neo-liberal orientation.
Root cause of the crisis
The radical remedy for the problems of the country and its intractable crisis lies in getting rid of the sectarian – ethnic power-sharing system, commitment to the values of true democracy, with its political and social dimensions and institutions, and building the state in line with its principles. The means of administration and governance must ensure respect for human rights, politically and socially, to guarantee equal citizenship, social justice, independence and national sovereignty. This is the path for the establishment of a democratic civil state which provides all the necessary prerequisites for sustainable economic, social, political and cultural development, utilizing the abundant wealth of the people and country for the good of its citizens and their well-being, prosperity and social progress.
How to deal with the challenges
In response to the terrorist onslaught of "Isis" and its allies, the Iraqi Communist Party has stressed the need for speeding up the formation of a broad national unity government on the basis of a comprehensive national program. This is needed to heal the national fabric, resolve the differences that have paralyzed the national effort, and adopt a host of political, economic and social measures that will strengthen the armed forces and enable them to regain control as soon as possible of the cities and towns that were ravaged by the terrorists.
The party has also called for convening a National Conference in order to review the political process and address the root cause of the ongoing crisis, by ridding it of sectarian-ethnic power-sharing and political sectarianism. This is the only path forward to build a unified democratic and federal Iraq.
Communists and their party organizations all over Iraq have been actively involved in the national effort to fight and defeat the ultra-reactionary terrorists and provide humanitarian support to the displaced communities. They are playing, along with other democratic forces, a vital role in combating sectarianism, chauvinism and nationalist bigotry, preserving national unity and upholding human and democratic rights.
Communists are also firmly opposed to the schemes that are aimed at dividing Iraq along sectarian lines. It is up to the Iraqi people to decide their own fate, democratically, with their own independent will, without interference by any outside powers, and rejecting attempts to impose designs that serve imperialist agenda for hegemony and exploitation
In this just struggle, international solidarity is indispensible. All forms of international support extended to Iraq in its battle against terrorism should be based on international legitimacy and within the framework of the UN. In this respect, it is of utmost importance to continue humanitarian help to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people. Effective measures are needed to cut off the funding from reactionary regional and Arab forces, as well as blocking all external human resources and material support, flowing to “Isis” and its allies.
We call on all the peace-loving and progressive forces in the world to express support and solidarity with the Iraqi people and democratic forces in their fight against the ultra-reactionary terrorist forces and political sectarianism, and for a unified democratic and federal Iraq.