Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tomorrow, June 26, is the day that has been long planned for by opposition unionists in Iran and their supporters worldwide, a day when international labour, 170 million strong, says enough to the seemingly endless repression of workers' rights in Iran. no doubt the significance of this day has seemingly been overshadowed by recent events in Iran, but its importance should not be underestimated. Through three decades of theocratic oppression the ideal of indpendent workers' organization has been kept alive in Iran, and, in the end, if the present ruling class of that country is ever to be overtrown or even forced to compromise it will not be by easily repressible street demonstrations but rather by indusrial action on the part of the ordinary Iranian. Here, from the website of the International Transport Workers' Federation, is the announcement of the international Day of Action.
Worldwide Iran protests tomorrow:
25 June 2009
Protests for freedom in Iran will be held worldwide tomorrow, 26 June, organised by four global union organisations and their members, representing over 170 million workers.

Demonstrations will be held at Iranian embassies/consulates in Ankara, Bangkok, Brussels, Canberra, Geneva, Jakarta, London, Madrid, New Delhi, Oslo, The Hague, Tokyo, Toronto and Wellington. Alongside those events trade unions in other countries are also holding various support actions (See Worldwide Update at for more details).

The ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), EI (Education International), ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations) called the worldwide action day to demand justice and to protest against the denial of rights within Iran. Amnesty International has backed this campaign.

Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary, commented: “We have exhausted all avenues of reasonable dialogue to persuade the Iranian government to allow basic human and trade union rights. Their answer has been repression and arrests. Given this failure we must protest publicly against what is happening in Iran.”

Fred van Leeuwen, EI General Secretary, added: “Trade unions across the world are mobilising to express their repugnance for what is being done and what has been done to crush the aspirations of ordinary Iranians. We invite everyone who is concerned at those abuses to join us.”

David Cockroft, ITF General Secretary, said: “Tomorrow we all get the chance to show the government of Iran how discredited it has become and how the whole world feels about the repression and violence it is creating. We intend to raise a worldwide clamour for reform that will force the regime to listen and understand that the time for change has come.”

Ron Oswald, IUF General Secretary, concluded: “As trade unions we have long campaigned for the rights of Iranian workers, and that campaign continues. Tomorrow’s events are one facet of a continuing struggle that will not go away until those rights are respected.”

At time of sending the latest update of events (more will be posted at as they are confirmed) is:
In Australia, the ACTU Congress adopted a motion in support of the campaign. Unions and community organisations will rally outside the Iranian embassy in Canberra at midday on June 26. The MUA also plans events in Sydney and Melbourne.

In Austria, VIDA will use the Danube Island Festival in Vienna from 26 to 28 June to inform visitors about the Iran campaign. The union will distribute flyers, stickers and organise a collection of signatures. The congress of ÖGB (Austrian Trade Union Federation) on 30 June to 2 July in Vienna will also be used to distribute information. Teachers union, GÖD will be joining these activities.

Belgium. Demonstration to be held in Brussels beginning 13:00, with ITUC, EI, ETF, FGTB, CSC, CGSLB, BTB all taking part, along with Amnesty International. BTB is also encouraging every regional section to organise an event on 26 June.

Canada. Demonstrations planned in Ottawa and Toronto (commencing at 18:00 in Mel Lastman Square, Toronto (North York Subway Station).

France. On 26 June, French unions the CFDT, CGT, FO, CFTC and UNSA will submit a letter to the Ambassador demanding the release of trade unions and respect of union rights. At 12:30, there will be a rally in front of the Iranian Embassy in Paris.

HKCTU and HKPTU in Hong Kong have confirmed their participation in the action day.
In India the All India Railwaymen’s Federation will organise rallies, marches and demonstrations.

ITF unions in Indonesia organised a protest action in May after the mass arrests in Tehran on International Workers’ Day. Transport unions KPI, JICT, TPK-KOJA, IKAGI and SPKA, together with the teachers union, PGRI, will hold a rally in Jakarta and conduct a prayer meeting in the port of Tanjung Priok.

In Iran the ITF-affiliated Tehran Bus Workers Union (Syndicate Vahed) has called on unions around the world “to include the human rights agenda for all the Iranians” in the June 26 global solidarity action day.

Iraq. The General Union of Iraq Port Workers will meet at the union’s HQ then demonstrate.

Italy. 19:30 sit-in in front of Iranian Embassy, Rome.

Japan. Japanese affiliates of the IUF and ITF, together with the national centre, Rengo, will host a mass meeting on 24 June to adopt a motion in support of the campaign. Representatives of the unions will then present this at the Iranian Embassy in Tokyo on June 26.

Unions attending the Asia/Pacific Regional Conference of the ITF in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia unanimously adopted a resolution to reaffirm their participation in the action day. EI affiliate NUTP will be collecting signatures and sending protest letters.

Mexico. Events TBC.

Rail workers of the UMT in Morocco will organise a solidarity meeting in Casablanca on 26 June.

Nepal. No Iranian embassy in the country so protest to Iran government will be made via the Nepalese Foreign Ministry.

In Wellington, New Zealand, the unions plan to bring “a brass band, lots of signs, drums and a street play depicting locked up Iranian Unionists” to the Embassy.

Aviation union, ATSSAN in Nigeria will hold a solidarity rally at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.

In Norway, Fagforbundet (Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees) and Norsk Transportarbeiderforbund (Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union) will organise a demonstration in front of the Iranian Embassy in Oslo.

In The Netherlands, the FNV has requested a meeting at the Embassy of Iran. Gatherings of the AOB teachers’ union and FNV Bondgenoten on 26 June will reflect the Justice for Iranian workers campaign.

Turkey. Turkish transport unions, BTS, HAVA-IS and TUMTIS confirm that they will organise a protest action in Ankara in front of the Iranian embassy. They are inviting fellow trade unionists, human rights groups and students to take part. Further action is also planned in Istanbul.

Spain. CCOO and UGT organising demonstration in front of Iranian Embassy, Madrid, commencing 10:00.

Switzerland. The ITUC’s Geneva office have requested a meeting with the Iranian labour attaché to the UN on 26 June. The International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM) has announced its support for the campaign.

In Sweden LARARFORBUNDET is discussing joint activities with the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions.

Thailand. In Bangkok, the ITF-Thai committee, together with the national labour centre, SERC, will organise a demonstration at the Embassy and submit a letter to the Ambassador. They will also visit the ILO Office to raise the violation of workers’ rights in Iran.

In London, United Kingdom, a demonstration will be held at the Iranian Embassy, 16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PTF from 12:30 to 13:30.

USA. NEA has written to the US State Department on violation of workers’ rights in Iran. AFT is also planning an activity. The Teamsters Union has written to Secretary of State Clinton.
For more details please contact
ITF. Press officer Sam Dawson.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7940 9260.
ITUC. Press Officer Mathieu Debroux.
Tel: +32(0)2 22 40 204.
EI. Nancy Knickerbocker.
Tel: +32 (0)2 22 40 611.
IUF. Peter Rossman.
International Transport Workers' Federation -
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871
This is is direct contrast to the title of a previous post on this subject ie 'A Ruling Class Divided'. While the ruling class in Iran scrambles to settle their internal feuds and, at the same time, repress challenges to their rule, the international working class, in its tens of millions are moving to offer solidarity to their Iranian fellow workers. the following from the Justice for Iranian Workers website is the "hand across the divide" from workers in Iran and their organizations. Molly has expressed her opinion in one of the polls on our sister site Molly's Polls that the present ruling clique in Iran will achieve a "tempoorary victory" over the present protests but thatg the opposition will take the present events and deepen their resistance over the long term. An important, perhaps the most important , aspect of this resistance will be the spread and consolidation of independent working clasds orgnaizations in Iran. Here is their statement at teh present time.
Joint message by 26 workers’ groups in Iran on Action Day:
The Solidarity Message from Iranian Workers for the Day of Action
Four international trade union organisations (ITUC, ITF, IUF and EI) have declared 26 June as the international day of solidarity with Iranian workers to support their struggle for their basic rights. Members of these confederations around the world will organize practical support towards workers in Iran on this day.

This declaration of international solidarity with Iranian workers is a significant historical moment in the struggles of the international workers’ movement to achieve human rights for workers around world. It would certainly play a significant role in advancing the struggles of the workers in Iran. Moreover this action would further deepen the international unity and solidarity of the working class throughout the world.

We the undersigned wholeheartedly support this international unity initiative. We would like to express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to the organizers of the action day and wish to warmly shake hands with you. We send our sincere greetings to the workers of the world in each and every unions.
Long live international solidarity,25 June 2009
Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company
Union of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Workers
Free Union of Iranian Workers
The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists
Kermanshah Electricity and Metal Society
Khameneh Textile Workers;
Workers of Sanandaj Par-Ris Factory;
Workers of Rugs West Factory
Kurdestan Textile Workers
Sanandaj Shin-Baaft Textile Factory;
Workers of Shahoo Companies
Kurdistan Textile Gharb-Baaft [Textile Company];
Pak Ara Milk
Workers Brick Shell Company
Sama Gunnysack Makers Fajr Flour
Niroo Raksh [Power Company]
Service Workers of Sanandaj Tohid Hospital;
Group of Sanandaj retirees;
Workers of Westrmanshah Carpet Company;
Group of Kian Tyre (Alborz) Workers;
Group of workers and activists in Marivan city
Group of workers and activists in Kamyaran city
Group of workers and activists in Mashhad
Workers of Car Glass
Group of workers of Metal factories
Workers of Yarag Alam Ghom Company

No comments: