Abrupt change in sale format

Babil car industry workers strike over land plot auction

BABIL, January 28 — Workers at the General Company for Car Industry in Alexandria, north of Babil, have commenced a strike. The strike is in response to the company’s decision to auction land plots, conflicting with an earlier commitment to sell them at the state’s official price without an open auction.

The employees have expressed dissatisfaction, stating that they were initially informed of sales at reduced prices, not exceeding four million Iraqi dinars.

Haider Ghazi, an employee, shared with 964media, “The decision is unjust for the company’s employees and contradicts the law that obliges the state to provide an employee with a land plot at the official price, based on years of service, educational qualifications, marital status, and number of children.”

Ghazi added, “More than 4,000 employees will not return to work unless the process of distributing the land plots is amended and they are sold at reduced prices to employees instead of through an auction.”

He noted that due to high demand among the 4,000 employees for the 869 available plots, prices have escalated to more than 30 million dinars.

Mohammed Al-Masoudi, another employee, explained to 964media that the plots offered in the auction are owned by the General Company for Car Industry, not the municipality, thus are auctioned as per the state property sale and lease law.

He also noted that the Prime Minister has the authority to amend the law to cancel the auction clause and sell the plots at reduced prices to employees based on job entitlement.