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Iraq | International | San Francisco | Labor & Workers

On U.S. tour, Iraqi unionists reject oil grab
by Marilyn Bechtel, PWW (reposted)
Thursday Jun 14th, 2007 3:46 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2007 :Labor leaders call for end to occupation
SAN FRANCISCO To judge by most U.S. media, the daily slaughter of Iraqis and the ever-climbing death toll among U.S. occupation forces sum up reality in Iraq. We rarely hear that a powerful labor movement is defending workers rights, campaigning for an end to the U.S.-led occupation and for better daily living conditions for ordinary people, and upholding the Iraqi peoples right to keep control of their countrys great oil resources.

This month, people across the U.S. are getting a glimpse of that other reality, as they hear from two Iraqi trade union leaders, Faleh Abood Umara, general secretary of the Oil Workers Union, and Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, president of the Electrical Utility Workers Union and the first woman to head a national union in Iraq.

The two, from the southern port city of Basra, are touring under the auspices of U.S. Labor Against War, the American Friends Service Committee and United for Peace and Justice, appealing for stepped-up solidarity to end the occupation and to keep Iraqs oil fields from being privatized to benefit transnational oil corporations.

During their stay in the San Francisco Bay Area, the two received word of Iraqi oil workers victory in the strike they began June 4 for the right to participate in talks on the new oil law and for decent wages and working conditions.

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§Iraqi Labor Leaders Speak in Berkeley
by Amanda Ott, Daily Cal (reposted) Thursday Jun 14th, 2007 7:59 PM
Thursday, June 14, 2007 : Two Iraqi labor leaders spoke in North Berkeley Tuesday about the importance of a continued effort by the American people to end the U. Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, the president of Iraq’s Electrical Utility Workers Union and first woman to lead a major union in Iraq, and Faleh Abood Umara, the General Secretary of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions, spoke in Berkeley as part of a 12-city tour across the United States.

“It’s not enough to say to bring the troops home,” said Jess Ghannam, president of the Arab Cultural and Community Center, which helped organize the tour. “We need to let Iraqis determine the future of Iraq.”

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