Economic and Social Rights

Tammuz organization for social development holds a conference to discuss the labour legislation in Iraq

   Tammuz Organization for Social Development, in cooperation with the German Foundation of Friedrich Ebert, held a closing conference to discuss the draft labour law in Iraq; it was attended by a crowd of workers, representatives of Iraqi syndicates and unions, Iraqi federations, civic activists, civil society organizations and a number of media, as well as the participation of MP Yonadam Kanna, Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour and Social Affairs Committee.

At the beginning of the conference, they discussed the objectives of the conference, which culminated in a group of workshops held by Tammuz Organization in the provinces (Baghdad, Erbil, Anbar, Dhi Qar, Basrah) and then presented the most important recommendations reached by those workshops.

The session was then opened to the participants to comment on the recommendations and the draft law in general. The conference ended after the participants had praised the role of Tammuz and its efforts to legislate a law guaranteeing workers’ rights.

Final Recommendations for Workshop and Conference:

Chapter One:

Article 1:

The amendment of article 1, paragraph 1 which states:

Ministry: Ministry of Labour, Second: Minister: Minister of Labour to First: Ministry: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; Second: Minister: Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

Seventh: The definition of the employer is inaccurate. And considers it a person, while not talking about the company or project…. Etc.

Nineteenth article: The minimum age for employment is not clearly defined. The article says of the age of 16 while the acknowledged is to complete the age of 16.

Twentieth article: The definition of the child in this article conflicts with the prohibition of child labour.

Chapter II goals and validity

The second article which states: (The purpose of this law is to protect the rights of workers and employers and to assist workers to find suitable work as well as training them and to assist the employers in finding suitable workers, and the protection of trade union organizations and the organization of work of foreigners wishing to work in the Republic of Iraq and the implementation of the provisions of Arab and international labour conventions ratified by law) should be amended to (The purpose of this law is the protection of  the rights of workers and employers and to assist workers to find suitable work  s well as training  them and to assist them in finding the right workers for the work they will be entrusted with, protecting labour union organizations and the organization of  the work of foreigners who wish to work in the Republic of Iraq and the implementation of the provisions of Arab and international labour agreements ratified by law).

Article 3 paragraph 1 which states:

The provisions of this law shall apply to: (a) Workers contracted with the state and public sectors shall be amended to: A- workers contracted and working in the state and public sectors.

Article 3, paragraph 2 which states:

(A) – Not to include the workers of the public sector provisions of this law.

(B)- Not to include members of the employer’s family.

Chapter 3: article 5, paragraph 3 which states: (Equality in wages) should be amended to (Equality in wages in the same work and under the same circumstances) also, paragraph which states: (the minimum age for employment) should be amended to (minimum age for employment as directed by law)

Article 6 which states: (When privatizing a project) which is a contradiction for the law does not cover the public sector.

Chapter four:

Article 20, paragraph 1 which states: (Public and private vocational training centers offer vocational training programs to the employment office in accordance with the provisions of this law, the Employment Office advises on the types of skills of training programs.) the following should be added to the end (According to pre-prepared studies).

Article 21 which states: (Workers’ Organization: A free labour organization with a moral personality representing the interests of the workers, defending their rights, improving their working conditions and representing them before the various parties) should be amended to (Workers Organization: A free labour organization with a moral personality and enjoys financial and administrative independence representing the interests of the workers, defending their rights, improving their working conditions and representing them before  various parties.)

Chapter five:

Articles 24 and 25: on the employment of the foreign workers as soon as his residency inside the country is legal.

Article 26: the employer shall transport the body of the deceased foreign worker. The responsibility lies with the State and international relations through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy or any other body representing the affairs of the country concerned of whose nationality the deceased worker is.

Article 29 should be repealed for being repeated and the article 26 implies the same.

Chapter 6: Individual Work Contract.

Article 30 paragraph 3 which states:  the dismissal of a worker here is up to the personal assessment of   employer and not for reasons or objective reasons.

Article 35, the employer shall enjoy the following:

C) Making the necessary decisions regarding workers. This paragraph gives the employer the right to impose his decisions not on the course of production or labour, but on the workers. This is a legal enshrinement of violations against workers.

(D) Control over workers. This paragraph gives the right to the employer not to control the work of workers or their competence, but to the workers, this should be adjusted to the control of workers to follow the workers through the context of professional work.

E. Observe and record any failure of the workers in their performance of the work. The concept of dereliction here is left to the discretion of the employer and thus enables him to punish workers optionally.

Article 36, paragraph 1 which states:  The worker shall enjoy the following rights: i. the right of the strike in accordance with this law. The draft law did not clearly define the right to strike.

Article36: paragraph 2, C which states: Not to disclose any secrets informed by virtue of his work, should be amended to:  Not to disclose any professional secrets that he is aware of by virtue of his work.

(J) Not receiving any person at the workplace, his is a form of restriction on workers. Where the worker can receive a colleague in the queries and get a time off.

N – The worker shall not hold meetings within the workplace without the consent of the employer and the relevant trade union body for purely trade union matters. This is a clear restriction on the freedom of assembly, especially for unregulated workers in a union.

Article 36: Section II: The termination of an employment contract.

Paragraph B: The exception of imprisonment for political reasons or trade union activity should be clarified.

Second: The paragraph says: Employer shall terminate the employment contract in one of the following cases:

Paragraph A – does not include reference to health insurance and State liability.

Paragraph B – same observation.

Paragraph D – states:  “If necessary”. We believe that unemployment insurance should be secured.

C) If the worker does not show acceptable efficiency. This text leaves an estimate of self-efficacy acceptance to the employer.

Paragraph F, is unclear and ambiguous.

Article 38:

The article states that “the employer must warn the worker to terminate the contract and in case of non-warning, he shall be compensated instead of this warning.” This text gives the employer the right to dismiss the worker without notice or warning which means giving him the absolute power to control his fate in return for not being protected legally.

Chapter 7: Wages.

Chapter 8: Working time.

  Definition of working time: “The time at which the worker is at the disposal of the employer” is an incorrect definition; because the worker offers his work power at work, not himself.

Article (56) Thirdly, Article (1) shall amend the establishment, alteration, repair or demolition of public works or the development of public works.

Article (57): First: A representative of the most representative employers’ organization, amended to three representatives, as well as a representative of the most representative workers’ organization, to be amended to three representatives.

Article 61

  First: Determine the working day by 8 hours a day, while the demand at the global level now is 35 hours per week.

Fourth: The provisions of this Article should be excluded from the following:

G) Domestic service workers.

H)  Agriculture workers.

We believe that the exclusion of these workers in the sectors referred to is a violation of the rights of workers of these groups.

Article (65) the term “workers’ organizations” shall be replaced by the words “trade unions”.

Chapter 9:


Article (68) first: A) The workers shall enjoy rest during the holidays and public holidays prescribed by law, to be paid a full wage except on Saturday, except on Saturday, and delete B which stipulates that the worker shall enjoy weekly rest for one day with full pay. Thirdly, the days of holidays and public holidays that fall during the worker’s vacation shall not be counted as part of the annual leave. Amend to not count as part of the annual leave and sick leave during the holidays to the end of the paragraph.

Article 68 First: b. the article reads: “The worker enjoys weekly rest for one day with full pay.” We demand a two-day vacation and full pay.

Article: The worker’s annual leave is specified in the draft with 20 days for each year. Our demand is 36 days a year.

Article (76) First: First: A marriage license shall be amended by ten full wages instead of five days.

C – The bereavement leave specified in the law is short and is supposed to be 7 days.

Third: Hajj leaves: This paragraph gives a religious reference to the law. It is supposed to be a general labour law devoid of references to affiliations.

Chapter 10: Protection of Working Women.

Article 80, First paragraph: There is a definition of the work of women in the paragraph preventing the employment of women in night work. We see the choice left for the woman herself.

Article (81) First paragraph: The worker shall be entitled to maternity and full-time maternity leave for a period of (72) seventy-two days per year, which shall be amended in accordance with the agreement of 82 for the year 2000 and shall be 98 days of leave.

Chapter 12: Protection of quarry workers, mines and mineral materials.

The majority of workers in mines and quarries are public sector workers. Therefore, it is necessary to include public sector workers in the provisions of any law or legislation relating to occupational safety or protection to work in the same category and not to exclude them.

Article 103: The daily working time of miners according to this law is much higher than the time limit universally adopted.

Chapter 13

Occupational health and safety and labor inspection

Note: No compensation for:

  -Work injuries.

-Workers’ illness due to work.

-Workers affected by working conditions.

Section II.

-Labor inspection.

Article 121: The Labor Inspection Committee is prohibited from:

Second: Disclosing the secrets that they see … etc. What is meant by secrets? Why these restrictions and protection for employers?

Article (124), first paragraph: The director of the inspection department or his authorized representative from the governorate shall be responsible for making the decisions of the inspection committee to facilitate the work of the inspection committee to facilitate the work and reduce the routine.

Chapter Fourteen: Rules of Business Discipline.

Article 127: First: This paragraph expands the control of employers and workers and over-emphasis on mistakes or violations of workers.

Article 128: Formulated in a manner that denies the authority of the employer in formality, while it allows him to perform many legal proceedings up to the time of expelling or dismissing the worker.

Article 131 in all its paragraphs, the employer is allowed to separate the worker in many situations without reference to any reference or entity, without any defense of the worker.

Chapter 14

Collective agreements and negotiations

Article 138, Third paragraph: The law shall provide for the inclusion of workers who are not included in the collective agreement without recourse to the employer.

Chapter XVII: Labor Disputes.

Article 147

  Second, the paragraph states: “The workers’ union shall not declare the strike as long as the procedures for its dissolution are not completed.” We see this as a restriction on the freedom of strike. The law is required to provide for the freedom of organization to declare a strike.

There are some general comments made at the workshops and the final conference:

1 – Re-reading the draft law after it was the first reading on February 4, 2012 in the House of Representatives.

2. Repeal of the 150 law, according to which workers were transferred to employees.

3 – Emphasize the freedom of trade union action.

4. Iraq’s compliance with international conventions relating to workers and labor law.

5. Serious efforts to legislate the Social Security Law because it supported the Labor Law.

6. Include working women with the same rights as female employees.

7 – Guarantee the rights of workers working with foreign companies.

8. The draft should be compatible with the international conventions that provide for freedom of association in accordance with Conventions 87 of 1948 and 98 of 1949.

9 – Deleted materials that represent the spirit of law in the government sector, which is 14 articles on the rights of workers.

10. An area of ​​trade union action should be given where article 5 of chapter 3 states that public discourse must be clearly regulated.

11. The draft must include a special chapter on trade union legislation that speaks about the legal nature of the union and the membership and funds of the public body.

12. The draft did not refer to the establishment of an arbitral tribunal, as in Article 150, for the purpose of resolving disputes between the worker and the employer.

13. In Article (67) in the area of ​​fines, it must be appropriate to what is currently prevailing.

14 – Giving the right to establish trade unions in the draft as referred to in Article 22 of the Constitution.

15. Abolition of the provisions of Resolution 150 for the year 87, which denied the rights of social security and the allocation of risk and health insurance and to refer to the age of material clearly and unequivocally.

16 – Article (61) Businesses that perform two-time must be clear so as to determine the additional working hours and whether or not compensated.

17. In Article 69 (V), the legislator did not clarify whether the illness was due to work or not.

18. Article (83) mentioned the working mother there conflict with the civil service law and that the request by the employer has the right to refuse or accept the worker’s request to enjoy maternity leave, it must be amended by obliging the employer to give maternity leave to the working community.

19. Article (18) The amounts imposed on the operation shall be amended so that the infringing employer shall be required in accordance with Article (16) of the draft in an amount not less than one million Dinars at a minimum.

Media Office of Tammuz Organization for Social Development

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