A common adversary
A common struggle
In the U.S and Iraq . . .
Workers want the same things.
Freedom of speech and assembly
Freedom of association and the right to organize
unions without interference or harassment
The right to freely bargain
The right to strike, when necessary
Secure jobs at a living wage with decent benefits
The right to health care and a secure retirement
Justice for all without discrimination
Peace and freedom from violence
Yet in both countries
workers’ rights are under siege
IN THE UNITED STATES
Five decades of unrelenting assault by corporations, their
allies in Congress and the courts have rendered the right to
organize, bargain and strike in the U.S. a hollow promise.
Corporations have employed plant closures, outsourcing, sub-
contracting, turning full time jobs with benefits into part time
and temporary jobs with none, injunctions, the use of strike
breakers, control of the media, fear-mongering and more to
strip American workers of their rights, job security and dignity.
From one third of the work force in unions in 1954, today only
one in ten remain organized. Our standard of living is
plummeting. We can no longer promise our children a better
life than our own.
In Iraq, in 1987, Saddam Hussein stripped workers in public
enterprises and government employment of the right to
belong to a union or negotiate over the terms and conditions
of their labor. After the U.S. deposed Hussein – instead of
liberating workers and restoring their rights – the U.S.
continued to enforce the dictator’s labor codes. The Iraqi
government promises to respect labor rights but continues to
enforce the 1987 law. It has frozen union bank accounts in an
effort to paralyze worker organizing and action. The U.S.
military and Iraqi security forces have raided and ransacked
union offices. Union leaders have been beaten, jailed and
Iraqi workers have seen the work of rebuilding their country
outsourced to foreign corporations