Iraq unions vow 'mutiny' over oil law
July 20, 2007

BAGHDAD, July 20 (UPI) --  Iraq's unions say the draft oil law is a threat and threaten "mutiny" if Parliament approves the bill.

"This law cancels the great achievements of the Iraq people," Subhi al-Badri, head of the Iraqi Federation of Union Councils, told the al-Sharqiyah TV station. He referred specifically to laws that nationalized Iraq's oil sector.

Iraq holds 115 billion barrels of proven reserves, the third largest in the world, and likely much more when the country is fully explored.

It could produce more than the 2 million barrels per day, and many are pushing the oil law as a means of solidifying investment in the sector. The law, as drafted, allows for foreign access to the oil, a line that must not be crossed, the oil unions say.

They have threatened to strike in the past -- and made good on the threat as recently as last month -- and claim workers of all sectors support them.

That was verified by Badri's interview, as reported by the Middle East Economic Survey.

"If the Iraqi Parliament approves this law, we will resort to mutiny," he said. "This law is a bomb that may kill everyone. Iraqi oil does not belong to any certain side. It belongs to all future generations."

The law is stuck in negotiations with various parties demanding either a strong regional/local control over the oil sector vs. a strong federal government control.

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