Message from workers in Iran to 2nd ITUC World Congress, Vancouver, Canada
Greetings to all the friends and colleagues taking part in the ITUC Congress
We are very sad that no representative from Iran can be there with you to convey the solidarity of Iranian workers with your Congress and to discuss face to face the issues of the workers’ movement in Iran. However, although we are far away, we feel next to you. We wish you and the world workers’ movement a productive and successful week.
In nearly a decade you have been supporting us and have been aware of our pressing problems. And now we wish to let you know that at this moment the workers’ movement in Iran is going through one of its most difficult periods.
The Iranian government, throughout its life, has not only not observed any of the international agreements on fundamental worker rights, but over the past year, has used the current political situation in Iran to organise an even greater offensive on workers’ most basic rights and the few existing workers’ organisations in Iran.
Our colleagues Mr Saeed Torabian and Mr Reza Shahabi have been arrested in broad daylight by intelligence ministry officers on spurious charges. They were arrested in their workplaces and in their homes in front of their families, who after nearly two weeks remain unaware of their fate. In addition, over the past few weeks Mr Alireza Akhavan and Mr Behnam Ebrahim-zadeh have been arrested. Their whereabouts are also unknown.
Mr Mansoor Ossanlou and Mr Ebrahim Madadi have been in prison for the last three years for building a trade union, and during this time, they have not been granted any leave, have been denied medical care and have been kept in dangerous prisons.
Members of the executive committee of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union have been jailed for months and have even been fired from their jobs for union activities. The execution of Farzad Kamangar, arbitrary arrests, harassment and the sentencing of the worker activists to prison terms and lashes have created a most worrying situation for them and for the most basic form of union activity.
Not only our teacher colleagues, but also their families and their loved ones, are suffering from these problems. Many of them are either already in prison or on the way there.
Friends and colleagues,
This year at the ILO conference not only was the Iranian government not reprimanded, but was taken off the ‘special list’. We know that you are using all your resources and are trying to ensure that the workers’ movement in Iran is not sacrificed for the economic and political dealings of the states.
We salute your efforts so far and request and expect that you take even further steps in solidarity with the workers in Iran so as to reverse the conditions that have been imposed on them.
In achieving their human demands, workers have no other means but their class solidarity. While reaffirming the international solidarity of the working class, we shake your hands and send you our warmest greetings for your ongoing congress.
Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company – Syndicate of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers – Free Union of Iranian Workers – Committee to Relaunch the Syndicate of Metal and Mechanical Workers – Trade Association of Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers
Translated by the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the
Worker-communist Party of Iran