Union leaders taken to court for oil sector dissent

In its latest crackdown on organized labor, oil officials have initiated legal proceedings against two union leaders for opposing the Ministry of Oil’s development plans.
Faleh Abood Umara, general secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, with other labor leaders. (DAVID BACON)

In the latest salvo of an ongoing battle over labor rights in Iraq’s oil sector, the state-run South Oil Company has brought charges against two of Iraq's most prominent oil union leaders.

Hassan Juma, president of Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, and Faleh Abood Umara, the federation’s general secretary, were accused of “impeding the work” at oil developments in Basra and “urging workers to stand against senior management,” according to a statement by Umara that recounts his two recent arrests, one in March and another earlier this month.

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