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[ Converted text/html to text/plain ] 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: www.uslaboragainstwar.org 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 (www.uslaboragainstwar.org) 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 email@example.com . ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Tired of spam? Get advanced junk mail protection with MSN 8. ===References:=== 1. http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/ 2. http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org)/ 3. http://netmail.verizon.net/agent/MobNewMsgfirstname.lastname@example.org 4. http://g.msn.com/8HMAENUS/2734??PS= _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk