Nearly 60 laborers have died in Kurdistan during 2013
The Kurdistan Workers’ Syndicate to work on amending the laws concerning workers’ rights
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.