A Joint Statement Issued by the Iraqi Trade Unions
Concerning the Programs of the World Bank
and International Monetary Fund in Iraq
THE IRAQI ECONOMY HAS been severely affected by decades of sanctions,
wars and occupation. The Iraqi trade unions and federations believe in
the capacity of the country with all its oil and mineral resources to
provide a decent living standard for Iraqis.
The federations and unions consider that the wars and occupation have
caused a dramatic decrease in the living and social standards of Iraqis
and especially of workers.
The federations and unions stress the importance of complete sovereignty
for Iraq over its petroleum and natural resources so as to develop them
in a way that assures a complete reconstruction of the country. We wish
to stress the following points in regard to the policies of the IMF and
World Bank in Iraq:
1) Increasing transparency and additional representation for Iraq
in the decision-making structures of the IFIs.
2) To stop imposing structural adjustment conditions for loans.
3) Agreeing to provide funding for public services and state-owned
enterprises without demanding their privatization.
4) Canceling debts owed by Iraq that have resulted from the
policies of the former regime.
5) Rejecting the reduction of spending on social services
especially the elimination of government support for the food
distribution system or the reduction of the number of items covered.
6) Strongly rejecting the privatization of publicly owned entities
and especially of the oil, education, health, electricity,
transportation and construction sectors.
7) Rejecting the increase in the price of petroleum products,
considering the negative impact of the increase on the living standards
8) Adopting a new labor law and a pension and social security law
that assure workers' rights and are in conformity with international
labor standards and human rights conventions. The World Bank and the IMF
must also respect these standards .
The unions and federations that have signed this statement announce the
formation of a permanent coordinating committee that will make its
positions known to the Iraqi Government and to the IFIs. They also
demand that the IFIs engage in dialogue, discussion and negotiations
with the trade union federations regarding their policies in Iraq.
Finally, they request the assistance of international trade union
organizations to provide all possible support to the above-mentioned
General Federation of Iraqi Workers
Oil Unions Federation in Iraq / Basra
Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq
Kurdistan General Workers Syndicate Union / Erbil
Iraqi Kurdistan Workers Syndicate Union
Amman, 16 January 2006