The Iraqi Parliament is currently voting on a new labor law after union members waged protests around the country in recent days urging lawmakers to act on the bill. The vote been rescheduled several times.
Six major Iraqi labor unions, together with the Solidarity Center, have worked since June 2012 to bring proposed changes to the nation’s draft labor law in line with International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions. Workers are still subject to labor laws from the Saddam Hussein era.
In a statement, Iraq union federations said that although the law under debate does not go as far as unionists sought in areas such as collective bargaining and organizing, it covers many points the Saddam-era law does not. For instance, the law would ban discrimination and forced labor and would add protections for working women and the right to strike.
The statement was signed by the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), the Federation of Worker Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI), the General Federation of Workers Unions in Iraq (GFWUI) and the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU).
Read the full statement in English and Arabic.
Watch a video of one of the protests.