Basra: Contract Employees Protest in Baghdad for Permanent Employment

BASRA, January 8 – Hundreds of contractual employees from Basra Oil Company journeyed 540 kilometers to Baghdad to participate in a protest outside the Ministry of Oil building. The demonstrators, hailing from various Iraqi cities, are calling for their conversion to permanent employment status.

The protest in Baghdad, which saw the convergence of contractual workers from different provinces, follows a series of unresolved demonstrations in Basra. The primary grievance is the lack of permanent employment, an issue attributed to budgetary constraints in the law.

Carrying banners with Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa Al-Sudani’s image and slogans demanding their right to permanent employment, the protesters expressed a sense of betrayal and urgency for resolution.

Haidar Mohsen, a protester from Basra, conveyed his frustration to 964media, citing poor working conditions and inadequate salaries in the oil sector. He emphasized the personal toll, noting that many protesters, like himself, are over 30, married, and have families to support. The decision to protest in Baghdad came after demonstrations in Basra did not yield the desired outcome.

Mohammed Ali, another protester from Basra, expressed confusion over the lack of employment stabilization despite the profitability of their companies and the crucial role of their work in Iraq’s economy. He lamented the unfulfilled promises made by deputies, especially before elections, to address this issue.

The protests underscore the broader challenges faced by workers in Iraq, particularly in the oil sector, in securing stable and permanent employment positions.