Education International
Education International

Iraq withdraws recognition of trade unions

published 16 May 2011 updated 4 March 2022

Education International (EI) has condemned the recent interference of the Iraqi government in the internal affairs of the Iraqi trade unions.

The Iraqi Cabinet issued two decrees on 17 April 2011 that withdrew its recognition of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers and its member trade unions. A “Ministerial Preparatory Committee” was appointed to take over all union structures and assets and oversee the upcoming trade union elections.

This worrying development is a breach of international labour standards. It is seriously tarnishing the reputation of the Iraqi government, particularly at a time when people from across the region are calling for dignity, rights and a say in decisions that affect their lives.

EI has written to the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri Kamil al-Maliki, urging his government to repeal these repressive decrees and to restore the recognition of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers and its structures; and to respect trade union rights as a pillar of democratic development by passing an ILO-compliant labour law allowing all workers and public servants the right to form and join trade unions, and hold free and fair internal elections.

You can show your solidarity with the Iraqi unions by sending a message to the Iraqi government through the Labourstart campaign.