Friday, June 08, 2007

Oil strike 'on hold' after strikers surrounded by Iraqi troops; May resume Monday

Oil strikers met by Iraqi troops

On the third day of an oil strike in southern Iraq, the Iraqi military surrounded oil workers and the prime minister issued arrest warrants for the union leaders, sparking an outcry from supporters and international unions...

The demands include union entry to negotiations over the oil law that they fear will allow foreign oil companies too much access to Iraq's oil, as well as a variety of improved working conditions...

The strike started with domestic pipelines transporting oil and oil products, but Iraq's top oil unionist says that it will soon encapsulate the 1.6 million barrels per day of oil Iraq sends to the global market.

Read the rest at Middle East Times

Iraq oil strike on hold, troops remain

An Iraqi oil union leader warned during a Washington visit the standoff in Basra's oil sector will escalate Monday if negotiations aren't successful.

Faleh Abood Umara, general secretary of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions, said a five-day cooling off/negotiation period, which began Wednesday, is crucial to keep Iraq's oil sector pumping and 1.6 million barrels per day flowing to the global oil market...

Umara said if no deal is reached, the warrants will likely be executed and the strike back on.

"Not just the oil unions are going to strike throughout the country," he said, "but all the other unions will be striking as well, in solidarity." Umara and Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, president of the Electrical Utility Workers Union, are touring the United States this month to promote Iraqi workers' opposition to the oil law -- which they say will give foreign companies too much access -- and working conditions in general.

Read the rest at UPI

Related Link:
Report: Maliki orders arrests of striking oil workers for 'sabotaging the economy'

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

Related Link:
Sources: Maliki fears U.S. will torpedo government over oil money