In 1987, the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein passed Resolution 150 which prohibited public sector workers from organizing independent trade unions. Though this policy had yet to be replaced following Hussein’s removal from power, public sector workers began organizing nonetheless. One such group that sparked a number of other labor groups to mobilize was the leather workers who led a strike in 2009 with the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions of Iraq (FWCUI).
Iraqi women and men waged a nonviolent pro-democracy campaign from 2003 to 2005. Led by the moderate Shiite religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani (a respected Iraqi theologian within the “Quietest Branch”), Iraqis used public protest, strikes, walkouts, sit-ins and boycotts to push for democracy.