Dave Barnes TSSA | 13.10.2003 23:15
British & Iraqi trade unionists
Welding hospital beds
This factory based 30k south of Baghdad centre was managed by a cousin of Saddam Hussain. With the expulsion of the Baathist management their was a change of union. The yellow union of Saddam was replaced by a genuine democratic union which now has 440 members on the site.
A dispute occurred on the 7th Sept due to disparity between state and private wages at the factory. Workers on state wages had recieved some increases while workers on the private scale had been left behind.
Najim Abu Dahm described how the newly elected trade union committee negotiated with management and then called strike action to back up their claims. The strike was universally supported by the workers in the factory with solidarity visits by 7 other unions.
The union won a wage increase of 17,000 to 60,000 Iraqi dinars. Still pitifully low but a great victory for workers and democracy.
Dave Barnes TSSA