In recent months Iraq's oil workers have come into confrontation with the puppet government in Baghdad. Kamil Mahdi writes on a union movement forged in struggles.
Iraq's oil workers represent a small proportion of the country's workforce, but they are historically some of the best organised and most politically conscious groups. Their politics has always combined labour issues with wider working class and national concerns. This is because the nature of their industry brought them into direct contact with multinational capital and its imperialist protectors as well as with subservient or oppressive governments. The workers were also conscious of the supreme importance of their industry and of the greed that surrounds it.