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Leather workers stage protests in Iraq

4 September, 2013In Iraq the State Company of the Leather Industries dismissed 200 workers. In opposition the Federation of Workers Councils & Unions of Iraq (FWCUI) organized a number of protests across the country.

According to the reports from FWCUI and the union of leather workers around 200 employees, including both daily- waged and contracted workers, have been dismissed without due notice by the administration of the State Company of the Leather Industries. Many of the workers have had at least six years long service by the time of dismissal.

Workers and their union are mobilizing to pressure the administration to rescind this decision.

As a state-owned company the employer responds to the Ministry of Industry, however when the workers contacted the Ministry they were told that it was the decision issued by the administration and not the Ministry.

Workers began their campaign with demonstrations in three locations in Baghdad and Kufa despite threats by the company attempting to block demonstrations either outside or inside company premises.

Further meetings between the FWCUI leadership, demonstrators and leaders of the union have confirmed that next stage of the campaign will be a press conference and then further rallies and demonstrations. The FWCUI assigned a lawyer to the case in order to make the administration be confronted through the courts alongside the protest actions.

The leather workers held a further demonstration on 27 August with fired workers demanding their rights again at the Ministry of Industry.