Union-busting in Iraq?

If anyone has a good reason for the CPA to have raided the headquarters of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions this week, or for it to have left in place the anti-strike laws imposed under Saddam Hussein, I’m all ears. Otherwise, it seems pretty disgusting, doesn’t it? I’d like to hear about this from someone who tends to more or less support Mr. Bush’s policies in Iraq.

The fact that the unionists arrested were released within days is good news, but there doesn’t seem to have been an explanation of why they were arrested in the first place. I’d hate to think it was because they’d annoyed one or more of the U.S. companies now getting rich off the occupation.

All I know about ITFU is this statement from its website, which makes it seem unlikely that the group is part of the Baathist resistance.

Update Maybe this is it: ITFU is against the sale of Iraqi state assets to foreign firms, fearing layoffs as a result. I can understand why this makes the CPA uncomfortable, but as Don Rumsfeld says, freedom is messy.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com