1960 political clashes in the Iraqi Cigarette Workers Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

1960 saw a protracted political conflict between communists and anti-communists for control over the leadership of the Iraqi Cigarette Industry Workers Trade Union (Arabic: نقابة عمال ومستخدمي صناعة السجائر‎).[1]

An election to the union executive committee was held on June 17, 1960. The list launched by the communists won the election. However, government authorities intervened and annulled the election, citing 'corruption'. The government authorities called for new elections on October 28, 1960, in which the pro-communist list was defeated. The communist cried foul, claiming that these elections had been rigged. On October 30, 1960, they called for strikes at the ar-Rafidain and al-Ahalia factories. In response, the Military Governor-General annulled the election on the same day. The strike was called off and workers returned to their work places.[1]

The anti-communist group, which had claimed victory in the October 28 election, petitioned Abd al-Karim Qasim. They stated that the result of the October 28 election should be recognized as valid.[1]

On November 3, 1960, the Military Governor-General postponed the union elections indefinitely. In response, a strike at the two factories was launched on November 5, 1960. Violent clashes between workers and police took place during the strike. By November 14, 1960, the strike was called off.[1]

On November 28, 1960, elections were held once again, in which the anti-communist list obtained 1,186 votes and the pro-communist list 208 votes.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Middle East Record 1960. London: published for the Israel Oriental Society, the Reuven Shiloah Research Center. pp. 252-253