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Strengthening union organization in Iraq’s oil and gas sector

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9 April, 2024The first founding congress to elect the leadership of the Basra branch of the General Federation of Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Unions in Iraq (GFOGPUI) was held on 9 March under the slogan: Organizing, is the real support of the Iraqi trade union movement.   

The 150 congress delegates elected nine officials to lead the work of the GFOGPUI Basra branch for the next four years. Ghazi Mohammed Abdul Sada was elected president, Qasim Watan Abdullah vice president, and Suhad Hassan was elected women's affairs officer. 
Hassan Juma, GFOGPUI president, emphasized that the most important challenges for oil workers are the absence of the law on trade union freedoms which limits the unions’ capacity to defend their members’ rights; a lack of occupational health and safety measures; a lack of social dialogue and collective bargaining; and a failure to respect international conventions, including ILO Conventions, signed by Iraq.  

Hassan Juma adds: 

“The founding congress of the Basra branch is part of a process to expand GFOGPUI across Iraq. We held a founding congress for the sector in Baghdad a few weeks ago, and after Ramadan we will continue the work on organizing founding congress for branches in Mosul and Dhi Qar, followed by a national congress for GFOGPUI. All the congresses are held in accordance with Iraqi law.”

IndustriALL energy director, Diana Junqurea Curiel, says:

“The oil and gas sector is key to the Iraqi economy and employs a large number of workers. We congratulate the leadership and members of GFOGPUI for their success in strengthening and expanding the union work across Iraq.”