Union Opposition to Petroleum Industry Privatization
The General Union of Oil Employees in Basra has issued a strong statement against privatization of the Iraqi petroleum industry.:
GUOE Position on Privatisation
August 2005 – Statement by Union President Hassan Jum’a Awwad Al-Assadi, translated from Arabic by Dr Kamil Mahdi, University of Exeter
In The Name of God the Merciful and Beneficient
Subject: The Stance of the GUOE in the southern region on privatisation
Greetings (Assalamu Alikum wa rahmatu-allhi wa barakatuhu)
Friends, I wish to convey to you the greetings of your friends the members of the Executive Board of the Union, and we wish to clarify to you our view on privatisation, an issue of major concern for us as workers’ movement leaders in this most important of work venues, i.e. oil. Our stance on this intricate issue is clear and explicit.
The privatisation of the oil and industrial sectors is the objective of all in the Iraqi state [Government], and we must state that we will stand firm against this imperialist plan that would hand over Iraq’s wealth to international capitalism such that the deprived Iraqi people would not benefit from it.
We reaffirm our unshakeable position on this basic issue for the future of the new Iraq, for we cannot build our country unless its wealth is in its own possession, and we need your assistance and support as we are fighting our enemies on the inside and you are our support outside.
The GUOE is the only union which has taken this courageous stance of fighting privatisation, and we are taking this path for the sake of Iraq’s glory even if it costs us our lives. The reason for this is that we feel that the Iraqis are capable of managing the their companies and their investments by themselves, because they have huge capabilities and technical knowledge.
We want you to know that we transformed the Iraqi Drilling Company from a non-existent entity into a company that is akin to international one, and it now owns 13 Drilling Towers which is a pride to all of us. For that and for all the achievements in the Oil Sector, we stand firm against privatisation, and I trust you confidence in the Union will not be shaken, for we have charted our steady and clear path from which we cannot ever never deviate.