Iraq - Collective bargaining denied as workers are penalised for demanding better conditions

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.

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