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Hundreds of Iraq ‘temporary’ state employees protest delayed salaries

November 18, 2020 at 11:44 am

Thousands of public servants hold banners and shout slogans during a demonstration to protest non-payment of salaries and corruption at public enterprises, in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on 18 December 2017 [Feriq Fereç/Anadolu Agency]

Hundreds of temporary employees working for the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity yesterday demonstrated in the capital Baghdad demanding the government pay their outstanding salaries, Anadolu reported.

The agency said the demonstrators gathered in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance and raised banners calling on Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to intervene and pay their salaries.

One protester, Mahmoud Al-Hamidi, told the agency that the ministry’s temporary employees had not received their salaries since March.

“Our living conditions are very difficult. Debts have accumulated over the past months, and I cannot find a way to provide for my family,” he added.

According to government figures, more than 80,000 work for the Ministry of Electricity.

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Former Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, hired hundreds of employees on a “temporary employment” basis in an attempt to calm anti-government protests without providing financial cover for them.

The government has been struggling to secure the salaries of civil servants for a few months due to the decline in global oil prices.

In a bid to end the salary crisis, parliament last week approved the government’s request to borrow 12 trillion Iraqi dinars (about $10 billion) from local banks.