For immediate release and distribution:
USLAW CONDEMNS THE RAID ON IRAQI LABOR FEDERATION OFFICE
AND URGES AFFILIATES AND SUPPORTERS TO SEND PROTESTS TO PRES. BUSH
U.S. LABOR AGAINST THE WAR (USLAW) has just received an urgent appeal from the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) for solidarity in the face of repression by the U.S. occupation forces in Baghdad.
On Saturday, Dec. 6, dozens of U.S. troops in ten armored cars raided the IFTU temporary headquarters in the office of the Transport and Communications Union in Baghdad. The attackers smashed windows, seized documents, and even tore down posters and banners condemning terrorism. Eight IFTU leaders were arrested but were released, unharmed, the following day.
No reason or explanation was given for the raid.
USLAW condemns this blatant violation of democracy and labor and human rights. We demand:
We urge all affiliates and supporters of USLAW to send a message of protest to Pres. George W. Bush at:
- an accounting from Paul Bremer and the U.S. occupation forces of why this occurred;
- an end to any further violations of human rights, interference with union activity and harassment of union organizers and leaders in Iraq by U.S. forces;
- payment of compensation for the damage inflicted upon the IFTU headquarters and the office of the Transport and Communication Union as a result of U.S. aggression;
- the repeal of the 1987 Saddam Hussein law banning unionization by workers in the public sector and state-owned enterprises; and
- the immediate implementation of ILO conventions 87, 98 and 138 guaranteeing the right of Iraqi workers to organize and bargain collectively and prohibiting the exploitation of child labor.
U.S. Labor Against War (USLAW)
P.O. Box 153
1718 "M" Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Bob Muehlenkamp and Gene Bruskin, Co-convenors
Amy Newell, National Organizer
Michael Eisenscher, Organizer & Web Coordinator
Erin McGrath, Administrative Staff