Nearly 60 la­bor­ers have died in Kur­dis­tan dur­ing 2013

The Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Syn­di­cate to work on amend­ing the laws con­cern­ing work­ers’ rights

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Zakaria Muhammed

Based on in­for­ma­tion re­leased by the head of the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers Syn­di­cate (KWS), Os­man Zin­dani, 59 la­bor­ers have died at work since the start of 2013.

Zin­dani at­trib­uted the deaths of work­ers in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion to a lack of safety mea­sures as well as to neg­li­gence.

The fam­i­lies of the work­ers who have died have not been com­pen­sated due to the lack of laws lay­ing down their rights.

In or­der to solve this is­sue, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment’s (KRG) Min­istry of La­bor and So­cial Af­fairs (MOLSA) is work­ing with NGOs on pre­par­ing draft leg­is­la­tion.

Last month, the MOLSA fi­nal­ized the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s first draft law on la­bor af­fairs, and pre­sented it to the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters. The draft leg­is­la­tion is now ex­pected to be pre­sented to the Par­lia­ment of Kur­dis­tan for a vote.

A state­ment by the MOLSA read: “The Min­istry held sev­eral work­shops and col­lected the sug­ges­tions of in­ter­na­tional ex­perts as well as in­ter­na­tional le­gal or­ga­ni­za­tions in or­der to draft a law re­lat­ing to la­bor af­fairs in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion which in­cludes 148 ar­ti­cles.” The state­ment also noted that “The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion ad­hered to the Iraqi leg­is­la­tion on labour be­fore draft­ing this law.”

How­ever, there are now sev­eral cru­cial law projects wait­ing to be de­bated by the Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment. This prob­lem has been ex­ac­er­bated by the neg­li­gent at­ti­tude to form­ing a new cab­i­net dis­played by the po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Has­san Ali Zada, head of the Er­bil branch of the KWS, said: “The prob­lem is not only to do with the leg­is­la­tion; it also re­lated to how the laws are put into prac­tice. Last year, sev­eral ar­ti­cles con­cern­ing So­cial Insurance and Re­tire­ment laws were amended by par­lia­ment, but the amended laws have still to be im­ple­mented.“

Ac­cord­ing to Zada, the day work­ers have no rights un­der the Re­gion’s laws. Only those em­ployed to work on big projects for monthly salaries, and who have been reg­is­tered for so­cial insurance, have a right to com­pen­sa­tion.

Zada ex­plained that if the pro­posed laws are en­tered into the par­lia­men­tary de­bate sched­ule and are passed, th­ese la­bor­ers will even­tu­ally en­joy sig­nif­i­cant pro­tec­tion.

Zada re­vealed that 28 work­ers have died in the work­place in Er­bil this year. “We have sent 20 cases to the Direc­torate of So­cial Insurance to en­able the fam­i­lies of the dead work­ers to be com­pen­sated, but no pos­i­tive an­swers have been re­ceived so far,” said Zada.

An el­derly man is work­ing in a high tem­per­a­ture in a ru­ral area near Er­bil.

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