Demanding government to lift a curfew

Truck drivers threaten strike over movement restrictions in Basra

BASRA — Dozens of truck drivers rallied today outside the Basra Provincial Council’s headquarters, expressing their discontent with a local government ruling that restricts their access to the city during daylight hours. The protesters voiced their concerns, labeling the decision as unjust and threatening to initiate a strike if their demands for unrestricted movement throughout the day were not met.

Qasim Abu Ali, one of the demonstrators, condemned the decision, stating, “We’ve been treated unjustly and our livelihoods have been disrupted. We are only allowed to work in the city from midnight until 6 a.m., which is not feasible because the quarries are closed then.” He highlighted the potential financial repercussions, noting that violating curfew hours could result in fines ranging from 200,000 to 400,000 Iraqi Dinars [around $150 to $300]. “We have families to support; whom do we complain to? I hope our voices reach Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani and Basra Governor Asaad al-Eidani to find a solution within 24 hours, before we are forced to go on a strike, which would stop all projects in the city,” Abu Ali told 964media.

Hussein Rafiq, another protester, attributed the issue to a recent road rehabilitation project in the nearby Al-Faw peninsula. “Before the project started, we could use the road 24 hours a day. Now, the Al-Faw road is completely closed to trucks. This decision not only harms truck owners but also affects those residents of Al-Faw who are repairing their homes or building new ones, as we are unable to deliver construction materials to them in a timely manner,” Rafiq explained.

The stance of Basra authorities on addressing the demands of the truck drivers remains unclear at the time of this report.