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Electricity distribution employees protest against resumed salary cuts

  2021-06-27  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Employees at Chamchamal electricity distribution directorate go on strike on June 27, 2021. Photo/Social Media
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Employees at electricity distribution directorates in Sulaimani and Chamchamal went on strike in a protest, which could result power outage to thousands of people, against salary cuts by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Protesters told Zhyan News Network that they are frustrated by grueling extra hours of work, slashing their salaries by %21 and restrictions on job promotions.

“Despite salary deduction being in place, it has been six years that promotion of employees has totally been halted,” one protester from Sulaimani electricity distribution directorate said.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Finance and Economy said on June 24 that it will distribute salary for June starting on Friday with twenty-one cuts, the same mechanism in effect since the outset of 2021.

On June 23, spokesperson for the Iraqi government said that Baghdad would send 200 billion Iraqi dinars to the Kurdistan Region as an advancement payment.

The yet-to-be-sent Iraqi government funding has sparked outrage among the finance, integrity committees and Shia lawmakers in the Iraqi legislature as they consider it a violation to the Iraqi budget law.

Throughout 2020, the KRG missed five months’ worth of salaries to its public servants and paid one in full and slashed others by either eighteen or twenty-one percent citing the COVID-19 pandemic, budget with Baghdad and low oil prices. 

It paid all the past six months in 2021 by twenty-one cuts despite considerable rises in crude oil prices and the devaluation of the Iraqi dinars against the US dollars by over 25 percent.

(Zhyan English)