Saturday, July 21, 2007

Maliki raises oil worker wages

Above: Members of the oil workers union, Iraq's largest union, protest against the proposed oil law last Monday in Basra.

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is currying favor with oil workers, needed support from a faction that went on strike last month...

Maliki reached a tentative agreement with the unions last month, and this week he gave the workers in the oil industry a raise of around two-fold.

"However, his clout within the Iraqi oil industry is limited," wrote Rochdi Younsi, an analyst for the business risk firm Eurasia Group, "and union leaders will continue to follow orders emanating from their respective religious and political leaders."

The oil unions are warning against allowing too much foreign access to the oil. They have demanded a seat at the law negotiation table, as well as improved worker conditions, and in early June stopped oil production to leverage their power.

Read the rest at UPI

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