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Tishwash: For delayed payment of their salaries … Iraqi employees are on strike

Government employees said, in contacts with the Anadolu Agency, that the Iraqi government did not spend their salaries for the months of September and October

Hundreds of government employees in several Iraqi governorates began an open-ended strike, on Sunday, to protest the government’s delay in paying their salaries for the past two months.

The strike is taking place at the initiative of employees of various government institutions, in the governorates of Diyala (east), Babil, Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Karbala (south), according to the Anadolu Agency correspondent.

According to contacts made by the Anadolu Agency correspondent with striking employees, the strike will continue until their salaries are paid, as it includes health, oil, service and educational institutions.

An employee at the Dhi Qar oil refinery, Karim Al-Tamimi, told Anadolu Agency, “There is dissatisfaction with the delay in paying salaries, and there is no justification for that.”

Al-Tamimi added, “The salaries of last September and October have not been spent yet, and we are in the month of November.”

And he added, “Despite all the circumstances that have passed in the country and the low oil prices, the payment of salaries has not been delayed (previously), so why now?”

Iraq suffers from a severe financial crisis due to the decline in oil prices in global markets, as it is customary for the government to pay employees’ salaries from the 15th to the 25th of each month.

Last October, the Iraqi government sent a bill for internal borrowing worth 41 trillion dinars (about 34 billion dollars) to Parliament for approval, with the aim of disbursing employees’ salaries.

And Iraq, the second largest producer of crude oil in the “OPEC” after Saudi Arabia, with a daily average of 4.6 million barrels in normal conditions, as it depends on this production to provide more than 90 percent of its revenues.  link