Hassan Juma’a Awad in the News Again
Iraqi Oil Union Leader Speaks in
[The following is from the
[For more on Hassan
Juma’a Awad, see the
article by Kathleen O’Nan, “Iraqi Oil Workers Meet
“Our Union Has Organized Despite The Threats Of
would like to talk about the main motives for the occupation of
would have been easier to topple Saddam Hussein in 1991 after the U.S.-led
coalition had driven the Iraqi army out of
The lies that were used to launch the war are now well known and deserve few words.
Hassan Jumaa Awad
addressing a meeting in
of the main aims of the
The sectarianism that is pitting Sunni against Shia, Kurd against Turkmen and Christian, did not exist at such a level before the occupation of our country.
see the only options presented to us are privatization of the oil industry and
the dominance of
The U.S. has decreed that only its companies can bid for oil contracts, sidelining the companies of other countries, whether from Europe or elsewhere.
two months after their troops crossed the border,
For this reason many Iraqi trade union activists who had suffered under the previous regime came together to relaunch the oil workers’ union.
union has two strategic considerations. The first is how best to protect the
rights of the Iraqi worker in light of the laws brought in by the then
The second is how to maintain oil production, which is the main source of income for our country.
Oil facilities and pipelines were the only elements of the infrastructure that they did not destroy. This is because they wanted to control our oil.
union has organized despite the threats of
have been organizing despite the ban on independent unions, and the ban on
demonstrations implemented under the transitional administrative law imposed by
Our union has six main objectives:
demand the unconditional withdrawal of
We want the freedom for Iraqis to decide our own future and set our own policies.
denounce all acts of terrorism against the Iraqi people and hold the
condemn the attempt by
support the Iraqi resistance in the campaign to drive the
We demand the cancellation of all debts incurred by the former regime.
Iraqis did not benefit from these debts. All the money that was borrowed was
not used to build
Iraqi oil workers’ union is determined to prevent any
Iraq exports up to 1.8 million barrels of oil a day, yet even with the present high oil price the people are living in poverty and misery.
There is little healthcare, no social welfare, and the education system has collapsed. The Iraqi people are living under very difficult circumstances. This is the reality of life under occupation.
we organized our first anti-privatization conference in the southern city of
Basra experienced deep suffering under the previous regime—more than any other city in Iraq—and suffered eight years of war against Iran from 1980 to 1988, the invasion of Kuwait and repercussions of that war in 1991.
we are suffering a new war caused by the
effects of the weapons used on us are being felt by Iraqis across the country,
George Bush and Tony Blair claim that they have brought democracy to Iraq, yet everyday we see this so-called democracy, with the military convoys that fire on innocent people and human rights violations, including torture.
call on all people who want peace and all organizations that oppose this war to
help in our struggle. Since we are struggling to oppose the forces of evil, we
need all the support we can get. I thank you for all your support. Again,
will remember the real friends who stood by us during these terrible times, and
hope that one day we can welcome you all to a free, democratic, and united