The law, written behind closed doors in Washington last year, hurts Iraqs oil workers, she adds.
to protesters convened by U.S. Labor Against The War, Iraqi Electrical
Union Workers President Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein added the law must be
dumped and called upon U.S. voters to pressure U.S. lawmakers to
The protesters, who included members from USLAW,
the Department for Professional Employees, and several anti-war groups,
chanted No blood for oil! and other anti-war phrases on their
mile-long march June 5 to the U.S. Capitol. Hussein led the march,
which came at the start of her second U.S. tour to tell unionists about
Iraqi opposition to keeping U.S. troops in Iraq. An Iraqi oil union
leader plans to join her.
The march also came a day after
Iraqs government sent troops to quell a strike by unionized oil
workers in Basra. Key issues were wages, health and safety and use of
temps. The strike ended after one day when the government promised
further talks. The AFL-CIO demanded Iraq stop using troops and that the
U.S. government protest.
Marchers started at the D.C.
headquarters of the private consulting firm, BearingPoint, that helped
Bush regime officials write the oil law. They finished with an outdoor
meet-ing with an anti-war Democratic presidential hopeful, Rep. Dennis
Kucinich (D-Ohio). He pledged to try to repeal the requirement that
Iraq approve the new oil law, as part of his overall plan to cut off
funding for GOP President George W. Bushs war in Iraq.
denied writing the law, but said it sent one technical specialist on
oil to Iraq, as part of a $30 million Bush-awarded development aid
consulting contract there.
The new Iraqi oil law, which that
nations parliament has yet to approve, would leave only 27 of Iraqs
78 present oil fields under control of the state-run Iraqi oil company.
The rest would be farmed out to multinational oil corporations by a
board on which representatives of those firms would sit. The board
would also award contracts for future reserves. There would be other
provisions giving control to the private firms.
Iraq would get royalties of only 12.5% of all oil revenues from the
farmed-out fields, a fact sheet on the new law says. Taken together,
these terms make a mockery of any real Iraqi sovereignty, the fact
Hussein told Press Associates Union News Service
before the march the oil law forced oil workers in Basra and elsewhere
to threaten to strike. She also said it would have a far greater impact
on oil workers than just depriving Iraq of oil revenue. To this day,
the government hasnt made it (the law) legal, because of the
protests, she added.
The Iraqi oil workers are owed months of
back pay, they demand a share of Iraqs oil profits, and many lack
title to what had been state-owned houses for the workers and their
families. They were promised title to the houses, Hussein said.
This article was written by Press Associates, Inc., news service. Used by permission.