A statement from the Iraq Freedom Congress, Oct. 19:
Thousands of Workers Took To the Street against the Minister of Finance
US Troops and National Guards Surround the Event While the Labor Leaders Deliver Their Speeches
In a series of demonstrations led by workers of the Ministry of Industry against the Minister of Finance and government decisions that intend workers salaries cut back under terms of the International Monetary Fund, a massive demonstration was organized today October 19, 2008 in Firdaus Square in Baghdad, where thousands of workers have participated.
The demonstrations came as part of a campaign led by the leaders of the labor unions and mass organizations such as GFWCUI and FWCUI and with the participation and support of a number of libertarian forces…
A number of labor leaders have delivered fiery speeches to motivate and strengthen the workers in their struggle and just demands. Among the speakers were Subhi Albadri head of GFWCUI, Falah Alwan head of FWCUI, Saeed Nima GFWCUI vice president, and Muamar Majeed FWCUI general secretary.
Meanwhile the U.S. troops and National Guards were heavily surrounding the rally and blocking off the roads to the ministry building to prevent the marchers from heading there.
It should be noted that these demonstrations will continue in many cities and will start sit-ins in all sectors of the Ministry of Industry to force the Finance Minister and his Government to respond to the workers demands.
In August demonstrations the ministry agreed to all demands but it had reneged on the implementation of some later, after consulting with the IMF. Also IFC has issued a statement that invites the leaders of the labor movement and unions to unify efforts and coordinate actions to lead the protest across the country.
Iraqi Freedom Congress