ILO builds capacity of tripartite partners on collective bargaining and labour agreements in Iraq

Capacity building workshops were held in Basra and Erbil as part of efforts to improve social dialogue, working conditions and overall governance of Iraq’s agriculture sector, with the support of the European Union.

News | 18 October 2022
Basra and Erbil (ILO News) The ILO has conducted two capacity-building workshops for tripartite partners - government, employer, and worker representatives – in Basra and Erbil on collective bargaining and labour agreements to strengthen their engagement in collective bargaining and tripartite agreements.

The workshops are supported by the European Union under the framework of an ILO project titled “Enhancing labour governance, inspection and working conditions in response to COVID-19.” They seek to improve social dialogue, working conditions and overall governance of the agriculture sector in Iraq.

Collective bargaining is negotiations between employers and their organizations and trade unions. It provides the basis for sound and fair labour relations.

The trainings included hands-on sessions and theoretical sessions on collective bargaining, in line with International Labour Standards. They covered basic concepts of collective bargaining with a focus on procedures, techniques, and negotiation skills.

“Despite my many years working in the private sector, I found this workshop beneficial as it highlighted key aspects related to collective bargaining. This is important for us as employers, because we deal with workers on day-to-day basis,” said Abdel Saheb Saleh Humaidi from the Iraqi Businessmen Union and Basra’s Chamber of Commerce.

“Collective bargaining involves discussions, exchange of ideas, opinions and expertise. This is important because it can resolve many issues related to our field of work,” said Wafaa Mohammed Hussein, from the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

The five-day training in Basra included 24 the representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Planning, the Chamber of Commerce, the trade union, and Basra’s local authorities.

“The workshop brought together the three main entities which specialise in issues related to workers. This has been particularly significant, in addition to the information we received regarding negotiations and social dialogue,” added Yasser Al Muarej from the workers’ union in Basra.

In Erbil, the training brought together 25 representatives from the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and Industries, Ministry of Planning, and Ministry of Youth and Culture. It also included representatives of the Kurdistan workers’ union.

“This workshop strengthened our skills in negotiation and collective bargaining and this is important, not only because it is effective in resolving issues but also in improving relations between different sides and entities,” said Bilal Ali, from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in KRI.

Under the EU-funded project, the ILO is implementing various activities to enhance the application of International Labour Standards and national labour legislation and promote social dialogue, social justice, and decent work. Find our more: