Monday, July 25, 2005

Labor Blogging: Iraqi Federation of Workers' Trade Unions

Here's an obit on Hadi Saleh from the IFWTU blog.
A group of five, most probably, ex-security men, broke into his house in Baghdad, waited for him in the dark and preyed on him the moment he stepped in. They killed three times: first they strangled him with a wire; second they riddled his body with bullets; lastly they burnt him. This was not an ordinary killing. Unlike show beheadings that mark ‘resistance’ in Iraq, this was a triple vengeance: in the 1970s Saleh was condemned to death for clandestine unionism, he was amnestied years later, now the Ba’ath security men working in clandestine for restoration reneged on their amnesty.

They also took vengeance for the successes Saleh achieved in rebuilding trade unions (The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, IFTU) that stand now at some 200,000 membership, a formidable democratic social movement defying all sorts of fundamentalist, communal or other parochial identities. Lastly, they wanted to hush him and his colleagues who pursue a twin line of peaceful action for the restitution of Iraq’s sovereignty and building an all-inclusive, federal democracy.
The anti-war delegates at the AFL-CIO convention ought to recognize there wouldn't be 200,000 Iraqi's organized in Free Unions today without the US and our allies fighing and dying for the right to organize.

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