March 6. More than a hundred workers of the General Company of Wool Industry in Baghdad demonstrated inside the premises of the Industry Ministry. The demonstration came in response to a statement issued by a group of labour activists. The statement was distributed to all factories owned by the company: the Alfatah factory, the Wahid Ayar factory, the Tag mechanical factory, the factory of spare parts and the Alhuryiah factory. . The statement raised the following demands:
-Fund all companies belonging to the Industrial Ministry centrally rather than having each factory depend on self-funding.
-Protect national production by stopping imports of similar commodities and marketing products through the ministry.
-Upgrade all production lines to international standards
-Grant the employees of the company allotments of land
-Reinstate danger and distance allowances.
-Sack Baathist elements from the Ministry and companies it owns and operates
-Establish a special committee inside each company to fight against corruption
A delegation from the demonstrating workers negotiated with Sami Alaarachi, Deputy Minister of Industry and Minerals. Alaarachi promised the workers he would study their demands.
This outraged the demonstrating workers who are exasperated that the managers of these companies are procrastinating in meeting their demands. They also believe managers are planning to buy the companies after they are privatised by the administration.
The statement called for a 2 –day demonstration inside the ministry building. Workers warned ministry officials that they will go in strike if their demands are not met.
Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq –FWCUI