While the cruel giants of rising expenses, inflation, unemployment, usury, forestalling, brokery, bribery, chaos and incompetence, economic corruption, discrimination, and poverty continue to tear asunder the drained and weakened bodies of the majority of workers and toilers, retired people and those on fixed incomes, and the impoverished;
While the poverty line has reached 2 million Touman;
And while the noise and commotion of the authorities regarding the pursuit of justice, human dignity and rights – not only for the deprived of Iran, but for the deprived of the whole world – has become deafening for both heaven and hell:
(It must be observed that), in contrast to the economic slogan of 1391(1), members of the labour force not only remain unsupported (by any kind of socioeconomic safety net), but – due to the stormy economy – have seen their marginalized livelihoods come under comprehensive attack.
Now, as in the Farsi proverb “gol bood beh sabzeh ham aaraasteh shod” – as if that dire situation was not enough – the government-sponsored Supreme Council of Labour, which is occupied by so-called representatives of workers, incompetent and divorced from the body of the workforce, selected through undemocratic and unjust methods, despite immense demands by workers that a fair labour wage should be determined – one that is sufficient to provide a humane life for a working household – has decided to set the minimum wage for the year 1392 at just under 500,000 Touman, redoubling the siege on the lives and livelihoods of workers.
This bitter and arduous state of affairs, a result of unjust action by the government’s Supreme Council of Labour and of the suppression of universal workers’ rights such as the right to establish labour syndicates, the right to protest and engage in protest marches, and the right to labour strikes – all commonly and customarily exercised elsewhere in the world – has been and is being intensified.
Vahed Company Workers’ Syndicate, as an independent, genuine labour organization, and despite enduring all kinds of harassment and various hardships such as imprisonment, detention, expulsion, threats, persecution, fabrication of charges, etc., continues to endeavour to defend the rights of workers, and in this regard declares its strong protest against the low minimum wages that have been set for 1392, deeming this act an insult to and humiliation of the working class.
The Syndicate of Vahed Company Workers demands that the authorities meet their obligation to fill the deep gap between the minimum wage and the cost of living for a 4 person worker’s household. In this regard, workers rely on their own force and reserve the right to follow up and protest.
Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company
23-12-1392 / 2013-03-13
(1) Slogan for 1391, pronounced by Ali Khamenei, was “Year of National Production, Supporting Iranian Labor and Capital”
Translation from original Farsi: Ahmad Fatemi, Mission Free Iran
Editing: Maria Rohaly, Mission Free Iran