5+ – No guarantee of rights due to breakdown of the rule of law
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Iraq

The ITUC does not have an affiliate in Iraq.

In practice

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Collective bargaining denied as workers are penalised for demanding better conditions25-04-2015

Cement workers in Iraq still struggled to enforce their rights, before the entry into force in February 2016 of the new labour law. In April 2015 some 350 workers at the Karbala cement plant signed a petition requesting representation in negotiations with management, although management had already refused a similar request by a group of workers in February. The cement workers also staged a rally to urge management to meet with a committee of workers to discuss improving safety and health conditions and other key issues.
Workers at the plant, owned by Iraqi government but operated by a private company, said that some had been unfairly penalised for asking for better wages and a safer work environment. One worker was transferred and another was being investigated.
Although the cement plant is a public sector factory, it receives loans from the International Finance Corp. (IFC) and IFC labour standards require respect for freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
.

No negotiation as oil bosses ignore workers’ pay protests01-02-2016

Protests by over 200 engineers, technical staff, and other workers at Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company (NOC) in Kirkuk were simply ignored by NOC bosses. The workers were complaining that their salaries were being paid in old, ripped and unusable notes, and that they had not been paid their bonuses from 2013. When they staged a protest however, nobody came to speak to them, and they knew a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
could easily cost them their jobs.

Public sector workers do not have organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. or collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
rights under Iraqi labour law and so there was no obligation for the bosses to negotiate with them, and no deadline for finding a settlement. The situation improved for some in February 2016 when the new labour law came into force, extending organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. and bargaining rights to public sector workers outside the civil service, but the new law still denies basic trade union rights to millions of blue-collar public sector workers, including those employed by the state in the oil and gas, port and railway, public road transportation and communication industries and state municipalities.

Restriction of fundamental civil liberties12-08-2013

Eight Southern Oil Company workers have been summoned to the General Inspector’s Office in the Ministry of Oil in order for the Ministry to investigate their role in recent demonstrations in Basra, where workers engaged in a peaceful protest.

Charges against trade unionists12-08-2013
Anti-union discrimination12-08-2013

Under existing legislation, workers in the public sector, including the state-owned oil companies, are not allowed to form trade unions. Workers that do organise protests are threatened with arrest and relocation. Despite the threats, worker actions have taken place throughout the main oil producing regions of the south. The authorities forcibly relocate trade union leaders in the oil industry from their regular jobs in order to remove them from their members and sources of protest.

Interference in trade union affairs30-11-2010

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, governments have failed to put in place a legal and regulatory framework for overseeing trade union activities and continues to use repressive Saddam era regulations which effectively ban independent trade unions.

In 2010, the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, had hinted that Article 150, a law dating back to the 1980s banning public sector workers from joining a union, would be repealed once the country’s electoral stalemate had been resolved. But the new government has instead placed further restrictions on union membership.

On 17 April, the Iraqi Cabinet issued two decrees withdrawing its recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) and its member trade unions, and instead appointed an unelected “Ministerial Preparatory Committee (MPC)” to take over all union structures and assets and oversee the upcoming trade union elections. These elections exclude public sector workers. The authorities also issued a ruling stating they would select the workers candidate to the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
Conference in June in contradiction with the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
constitution which requires member states to select a worker delegate in consultation with unions. After international pressure the Minister of Labour backed down on this plan.

Only one national centre officially recognised30-11-2008

The only officially recognised trade union is the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), created in September 2005 from the merger of the Iraqi Federation of Workers’ Trade Unions (IFTU) (previously the only one to be officially recognised), the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) and the General Federation of Iraqi Trade Unions (GFITU). However, this limits freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
, as organisations such as the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI) have been refused recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. .

Restricted elections31-01-2009

In March, trade union elections were to be held under the legal framework inherited from the regime of Saddam Hussein. “Law 52” prohibits workers in the public sector from forming or joining unions, and only six mainly private sector unions, all affiliated to the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), were allowed to participate. Other affiliates of the IFTU and those affiliated to other national trade union centres were excluded, as well as the three Northern Kurdish provinces. In addition, the controversial August 2005 Order 8750 freezes all trade union assets and financial accounts. The application of this order would only be re-assessed and possibly suspended after union elections are held, and only for those unions allowed to take part in the officially-recognised elections.

Most workers banned from union membership30-11-2009

Many workers are deprived of the right to organise due to the predominance of the public sector in Iraq, and the fact that public sector workers are barred from trade unions. Sectors like banking, insurance, oil and others are overwhelmingly state-owned. Even industrial factories are very often state-owned.

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