About 500 oil and gas workers went on strike for 48 hours beginning Aug. 22 for higher pay, overtime, timely pay and ambulances at the work site.
The oil ministry agreed to raise the salaries of workers, which average about $200 a month, but did not commit to the remaining items.
A general strike by union workers could soon follow the Basra oil workers’ strike, the FWCUI said. Union leaders will meet next week to finalize demands and set a deadline for the authorities’ response. The demands currently under discussion include housing the workers, raising minimum salaries, expanding limits of promotion and salary, converting contracted workers into full-time workers, and curbing bureaucracy and corruption.
A joint national protest is being planned by oil workers in Basra, cement workers in Suleimaniah, employees of the Baghdad Municipality, Central Oil Fields in Baghdad and the vicinity, the Al Dora Refinery, Al Taji Gas, Oil Projects, Engineering Oil Industries and the Oil Institution, according to the FWCUI.
U.S. Labor Against the War, an affiliation of more than 125 unions and labor councils representing several million workers, Wednesday urged its members to write letters of support to the Iraq union leaders.