From WEEKLY MDS No.1044, July 25, 2008 issue

Develop International Solidarity against Iraq Oil Law

Appeal Actions Take Place toward Six Oil-Based Businesses

Join July 30 Action with IFC Representatives

In solidarity with the struggle against the Oil Law led by IFC (Iraq Freedom Congress), appeal actions took place in the metropolitan Tokyo in visits to six companies in the oil-based industry on July 7. Such appeal actions are planned again on July 30 jointly with Iraq's Anti Oil Law Front representatives.

"Don't Play a Part for the Oil Theft Bill"

The six target companies included Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., INPEX Holdings Inc. and Mitsubishi Corporation among others. A Zenko (National Assembly for Peace and Democracy) representative handed a request stating, "In the face of the prevailing opposition among the Iraqi people, the bill for the Oil and Gas Law is in a deadlock after the Maliki administration brought it to the assembly deliberation. This bill, also referred to as a theft law, gives promises to allow Iraqi oil resources to be sold to foreign oil capitalists at criminally cheep prices." Action participants demanded respective company representatives not to support or promote the Oil Law and to cancel all oil-related contracts concluded with the Maliki administration as the administration is oppressing oil workers.

In a talk with Showa Shell Sekiyu, the Labor Relations Manager evaded, saying, "I am not supposed to handle any political request. I can receive your letter of request and listen to you, but will not provide a response."

Pressure Needed Also on Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

At Nippon Oil Corporation, the General Affairs Division received the protest group and responded, "(Concerning the Oil Law,) We only have general information reported via newspapers and TV. As it is an internal affair of Iraq, we are not in a position to make any comments. We don't have any contracts, either." When asked about their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), they replied, "We have simply filed an application for documentary examination for bid evaluation in view of future resources development. We will act fairly and properly under CSR."

Exxon Mobil Corporation received the letter of request and said, "We will send it to the headquarters. However, we are not sure if the headquarters will deliver any instructions." Mitsubishi Corporation and INPEX simply received the letter of request and did not even make comments, avoiding any response.

Participants expressed their resolution, saying, "On July 2 and 3, there was a Japan-Iraq business forum in Amman, Jordan, attended by government officials and private business representatives. INPEX and other Japan-based companies we have visited today must have attended it. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and those corporations are no doubt ready to be a part of the effort to turn the oil bill into law in order to grab Iraqi oil. We will mount greater pressure on the Economy and Industry Ministry and oil-related companies on the July 30 One-Day Anti Oil Law Action."

Weekly MDS