Iraq - Iraqi electricity workers win inclusion for 150,000 precarious workers

In April 2018, strike action by 30,000 Iraqi electricity workers employed on precarious contracts has led the government to concede and provide 150,000 public workers from all sectors with the same pension and social security rights as permanent workers.
The electricity workers took unprecedented militant action, suspending work and occupying electricity facilities and gas terminals to fight the growing use of temporary contracts in the electricity sector, and the exclusion of these workers from social security.
On 27 April, Hashmeya Alsaadawe, president of the Basra Trade Union Federation, explained that when the protests started, 100 workers were dismissed. Workers responded by increasing pressure on the government and occupying sites across the country. This had the desired effect, as all those dismissed were reinstated, and all precarious workers were promised social security.
The government had previously argued that public sector workers were not covered by social security law. However, in a statement released in early May 2018, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs confirmed that public sector workers are covered by the law. This brings legal protection to 150,000 workers who were not previously covered. This is a major victory for Iraqi workers and their unions. The government’s announcement in May confirmed the union victory.

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