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04/12/03 Model Resolution on the Occupation and Labor Rights in Iraq
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 13:23:36 -0500

Subject: [uslaw-assembly] Model Resolution on the Occupation and Labor Rights in Iraq

(Circulated by U.S. Labor Against the War for adoption by unions, labor councils and other labor organizations.)

Whereas: Since George W. Bush declared an end to the war on Iraq in April, 2003, unemployment among Iraqi workers has reached 70%, causing many families to face hunger and dislocation, and

Whereas: Since Bush announced the wars end, the US occupying authority has frozen Iraqi wages for most workers at $60/month, while at the same time eliminating bonuses, profit sharing, and subsidies for food and housing, causing a sharp cut in the income of those Iraqi workers still employed, and

Whereas: $87 billion was appropriated by Congress supposedly for the reconstruction of Iraq, yet not a dime is set to be used for raising Iraqi wages or for unemployment benefits, and these extraordinary expenditures will come at the expense of services and jobs here in the US, and

Whereas: Since April, 2003, Iraqi workers have begun to reorganize their trade union movement, seeking a better standard of living, and to preserve their jobs and workplaces, and

Whereas: The US occupation authority has continued to enforce a 1987 law issued by Saddam Hussein prohibiting unions and collective bargaining in the public sector and state enterprises where most Iraqis work, and

Whereas: The US occupation authority has announced it intends to sell off the factories, refineries, mines and other state enterprises despite the fact that these enterprises belong to the Iraqi people, not to the US, and has issued a new decree, Public Order 39, allowing 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses and the repatriation of profits in effect making resistance to privatization illegal for Iraqi unions and preventing workers from having any voice in the future of their own jobs, and

Whereas: The privatization of Iraqi workplaces would result in massive layoffs to Iraqi workers at a time when unemployment is already at crisis levels, and

Whereas: Iraqi unions are seeking to organize despite having no resources, while the US occupying authority withholds welfare funds, buildings and other assets previously held by unions controlled by Saddam Husseins government, and

Whereas: Workers in the United States have experienced an erosion of our own labor rights to organize and collectively bargain in defense of our jobs, rights and working conditions and thus understand what the restriction or loss of these rights means to working people,

Therefore be it resolved: This local union (or other labor body) calls for full trade union rights in Iraq, for immediate nullification of the 1987 Hussein law banning unions in public enterprises and any other restriction on the free exercise of labor rights, and

Be it further resolved: We call on the US occupation authority to immediately implement Conventions 87, 98 and 138 of the International Labor Organization guaranteeing the right to organize and bargain collectively, and prohibiting child labor, and to immediately halt the process of privatizing Iraqi workplaces and selling off the property of the Iraqi people, and

Be it further resolved: We call for an end to the US occupation of Iraq and return of U.S. troops to their homes and families so that Iraq can be governed by its own people,

Be it further resolved: We call for a Congressional investigation of the suppression of trade union rights in Iraq and the privatization of Iraqi workplaces and selling off of the property of the Iraqi people, and

Be it finally resolved: We will encourage donations of material resources such as computers, telephones, fax machines and office furniture, as well as money to the Fund to Support Iraqi Labor Rights established by US Labor Against the War.

U.S. LABOR AGAINST THE WAR, P.O. Box 153, 1718 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036

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