"The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) denounced yesterday further attacks on one of its key leading elected officials. At 9:30am on Thursday 27 January 2005 a group of six gunmen using two cars broke into the main building of the Carton Board Manufacturing Company in Al Zafarania District of Baghdad and kidnapped Mr. Talib Khadim Al Tayee, President of the Iraqi Mechanics, Metalworkers & Printworkers Union(IMM&PU), after attacking him violently in front of workers.
Mr Talib Khadim was on union business with workers of the company when the gunmen attacked him, hitting him repeatedly on the head using the butts of their guns. They tied his hands and legs and kidnapped him, taking him to an unknown location. All this happened in front of workers, after locking away the company security guards in an office.
Mr Talib Khadim lives in Al Zafarania district. He is very well known there as a good community activist and a champion of workers' rights. Mr Talib is a brave patriotic Iraqi who put himself forward and was elected as President of the IMM&PU at the union's first open Conference on 31 May 2004 in Baghdad.
This latest criminal act, which targets trade union leaders and especially leading figures of the IFTU, was instigated by extremists who want to stop Iraq moving forward to embrace a new politics of tolerance, peace and democracy.
This criminal act is closely linked in its methods and its intentions to the recent brutal assassination of Hadi Saleh, the IFTU International Secretary.
The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) declares that this criminal attack will not intimidate our workers' federation continuing its struggle to build an independent, democratic and open trade union movement.
The IFTU Executive Committee condemned the attack on a trade union official, declaring: "Disgrace and shame on the terrorists! Glory to the Iraqi working class!" and demanded the release of Talib Khadim and an end to terrorism against those brave patriotic working class fighters who are working to organise Iraqi workers.
The IFTU calls on all legal and labour movement bodies to urgently use all their means to demand the release of Talib Khadim our comrade."
Whether a trade unionist or not, ask yourself whose side are you on - then, if you want to send a message in support, click here.