Tuesday, June 05, 2007

600 pipeline workers go on strike in Basra, cutting Baghdad supply

Above: A worker at an oil refinery in Basra in southern Iraq, which holds the vast majority of Iraqi oil reserves. Baghdad and other areas in the north are already suffering under fuel shortages -- both for automobiles and for electrical generators which many depend on due to severe power shortages.

Workers at the Oil Pipeline Company in southern Iraq began a strike on Monday demanding the government improve their pay, the company spokesman said.

Faraj Mizban said about 600 workers are taking part in the strike and that they have shut two main pipelines which carry refined oil products to Baghdad and to the southern cities.

Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said the strike will not have any effect on crude oil exports from the south, vital for Iraq's economy...

"It has caused a halt (to the flow) of oil products..to Nassiriya, Kerbala and Baghdad," he added.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet