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In these times

Post-Election, Embattled Iraqi Labor Movement Still Struggles for Rights

28 April 2010

The elections in Iraq in March brought unexpected twists in the country’s chaotic political narrative, reflecting growing complexity in the electorate as well as the balkanized nature of Iraq’s religious and ethnic landscape. Since no party won a decisive majority, it may be months before the new government takes shape, as members of Parliament hammer out tenuous coalitions.

While myriad civil society movements had a stake in the election, notably absent from mainstream electoral battles was organized labor. Given the prominence of unions in U.S. and European politics, activists might be wondering who’s standing up for workers in Iraq’s parliament.

The few labor-oriented voices from Iraq that have reached U.S. shores suggest that, while marginalized from official politics, labor groups have gelled into a democratic counterpoint both to Iraq’s political establishment and to tumultuous sectarian forces. Read more

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