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[casi] Labor Against the War

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Not sure if its ok to post this.....

US Labor Against the War
PO Box 153, 1718 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
On the Web:[1]
June 13, 2003
US Labor Against the War has produced a report: "The Corporate
Invasion of Iraq: Profiles of US Corporations Awarded Contracts in
US/British Occupied Iraq." This report provides much needed
information to Iraqi workers and their resurgent labor movement about
the US companies that are their new employers.
Most of these corporations have been awarded no-bid contracts
worth billions of dollars to rebuild and privatize Iraq, and to bring
its economy firmly under U.S. control. Their names read like a rogues
gallery of anti-union US multinationals, including Halliburton (VP
Cheney's former company), MCI (formerly MCI/WorldCom, notoriously
anti-union and now charged with the largest corporate fraud case in
history), and SSA (the leader of the attack on the ILWU during their
2002 contract negotiations). Iraqi workers will need the support of
the international labor movement in order to rebuild their labor
movement against such formidable foes. Iraqi workers need and deserve
to know whom they will be dealing with. This report serves as an
important introduction.
Billions of U.S. taxpayers, dollars are being spent trying to
restore order against an increasingly hostile population desperate for
jobs, basic services, food, safety and most of all democracy. Most
Iraqis were overjoyed to be rid of the Hussein regimeSumbut they also
don,t want to exchange Saddam's tyrannical rule for the rule of
multinational corporations intent on seizing control of and exploiting
their resources and economy, or a government hand-picked for them by
the Bush administration.
There is a critical role that we as trade unionists can play in
bringing true democracy to Iraq.
Unable to produce the weapons of mass destruction that the Bush
administration used to justify its invasion of Iraq, "democracy for
the people of Iraq" has now become the administration's strongest
rationale for the war. As trade unionists, we know that central to any
democracy must be fundamental trade union rights - the freedom to
assemble, to organize, to bargain collectively and to strike, if
necessary, to protect and improve workers, standard of living. As the
ICFTU said on May 30, 2003:
"Ensuring respect for workers, rights, including freedom of
association must be central to building a democratic Iraq and to
ensuring sustainable economic and social development."
These rights could truly make a difference for Iraqi workers. In
fact, Iraq has a genuine trade union tradition dating back to the 1929
formation of a railroad workers union and continuing after WWII with
Iraq's adoption of all of the important internationally recognized ILO
labor standards. Hussein recognized that an independent democratic
labor movement was incompatible with his autocratic ambitions. Trade
unionists were among Hussein's first targets in the 1970s and many
were killed, jailed or forced into exile, and their independent unions
were disbanded.
Iraqis are again beginning to organize. But this time they are
confronting the US authorities, former Ba,athist managers and US
multinational corporations. Electrical workers struck because they
hadn,t been paid; oil workers have protested repeatedly, demanding the
removal of corrupt managers; and workers at the Oil for Food Agency
elected their own manager to replace the former Hussein supporter who
still had the job. Trade unions are again being formed. On June 9,
according to news reports, hundreds of oil workers protested against
KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary that imported Asian workers to perform
reconstruction work instead of hiring Iraqis.
"The Corporate Invasion of Iraq" exposes the labor, human rights,
environmental and business record of these corporations - a sordid
record, as the report notes, marked by cost overruns, accounting
irregularities, financial dereliction, fraud, bankruptcy,
overcharging, price-gouging, profiteering, wage-cheating, deception,
corruption, health and safety violations, worker and community
exploitation, human and labor rights abuses, union-busting,
strike-breaking, environmental contamination, ecological
irresponsibility, malpractice, criminal prosecutions, civil lawsuits,
privatization of public resources, collusion with dictators, trading
with regimes in violation of international sanctions, drug-running,
prostitution, excessive executive compensation, and breach of
fiduciary duty to shareholders and the public.
This report is being presented to the world,s labor movement and
provided to Iraqi workers by Amy Newell, USLAW organizer, at
international labor meetings being held in Geneva, Switzerland in
mid-June. It is being translated into Arabic and several other
languages for global distribution. We want to distribute the report
widely in the US and internationally as part of an effort to build
international support for workers, rights in Iraq. In the coming
months the report will serve as the basis for our demands on our own
government that it recognize and protect trade union and labor rights
in Iraq, not only because international labor solidarity compels us to
do so, but also because it is in the immediate interests of workers
who confront these same anti-labor, union-hostile corporations right
here in the U.S.A. Information in the report will be supplemented as
it becomes available. The most current version will be posted to the
USLAW website.
We urge you to distribute this report at all levels in your
organization and within your labor councils, state federations and
other regional bodies. Share it with local and national leaders, as
well as interested members. The report can be downloaded from the
USLAW website ([2] for free or purchased in
printed form for $5 a copy for the first copy and $2 for each
additional copy.
We welcome your feedback and we look forward to working together
with you and your union on this important campaign to support fully
guaranteed internationally recognized labor rights for all Iraqi
workers. An injury to one is an injury to all!
Sincerely for USLAW in the struggle for peace with justice,
Gene Bruskin
Bob Muehlenkamp
Michael Eisenscher
Amy Newell
Contact us at[3] .

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