Saturday, June 06, 2009

The following appeal for an international day of solidarity with workers in Iran comes Molly's way via the online labour solidarity site Labour Start. The website for the campaign is Justice for Iranian Workers. The following is in English and French. L'article suivante est en anglais et français.

Four global union organisations representing over 170 million workers have called a worldwide action day on June 26 to demand justice for Iranian workers. Demonstrations will take place outside Iranian embassies and consulates to protest the ongoing denial of rights and arrests of trade unionists within the country.

The ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), EI (Education International), ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations) are forming a coalition for the event, which is the latest move in an ongoing campaign to secure justice and trade union rights inside Iran. Amnesty International has backed this campaign.

They are calling for the immediate and unconditional release of jailed trade union members and leaders including Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi, Farzad Kamangar, and the annulment of the one year prison sentences recently handed down against the five leaders of the Haft Tapeh Sugarworkers’ Union, as well as the release of trade unionists arrested in Tehran on May Day.
Quatre organisations syndicales mondiales représentant plus de 170 millions de travailleurs ont lancé une journée mondiale d’action le 26 juin afin d’exiger plus de justice pour les travailleurs iraniens. Des manifestations se dérouleront devant les ambassades et consulats iraniens afin de protester contre les perpétuelles violations des droits et les arrestations de syndicalistes dans le pays.

La CSI (Confédération syndicale internationale), l’IE (Internationale de l’Education), l’ITF (Fédération internationale des ouvriers du transport), l’UITA (Union internationale des travailleurs de l’alimentation, de l’agriculture, de l’hôtellerie-restauration, du tabac et des branches connexes) ont formé une coalition à l’occasion de cet événement, qui constitue la dernière action en date d’une longue campagne pour garantir la justice et les droits syndicaux en Iran. Cette campagne bénéficie du soutien d’Amnesty International.

La coalition appelle à la libération immédiate et inconditionnelle des syndicalistes et dirigeants syndicaux emprisonnés dont Mansour Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi et Farzad Kamangar, à l’annulation des condamnations à un an d’emprisonnement récemment prononcées à l’encontre des cinq dirigeants du Syndicat des travailleurs de l’entreprise sucrière de Haft Tapeh, ainsi qu’à la libération des syndicalistes arrêtés à Téhéran le jour de la fête du travail.
Here is a syndicalist background to this struggle from the website of the Australian IWW.
JUNE 26th 2009 The ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), EI (Education International), ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations) are forming a coalition in an ongoing campaign to secure justice and trade union rights inside Iran. Amnesty International has backed this campaign.

VICTORY The strike of the Iran Khodro workers to get their unpaid wages and convert temporary contracts to permanent ones ends in victory Last week the workers of Iran Khodro were successful with their glorious strike which started in the assembly hall and continued in the shuttle (body) hall and ended with the press hall strike. The workers’ immediate demands were payment of their unpaid wages (productivity and last year’s production record bonuses) and to switch workers on temporary contracts to contracts of the Iran Khodro Company itself.

At first the new management of Iran Khodro would not pay the productivity and production record bonuses and postponed paying the wages for Farvardin [the first Iranian month, 21 March-20 April]. When faced with the workers’ protest, it paid the wages to stop the protest spreading. But the workers announced that the time for waiting was over and that to reach their demands they had decided to go on strike. Once the managers, who had recently come to the Company, grasped the seriousness of a strike starting, 150 thousand tomans [£97,395; $154,353; €111,086] was paid into the workers’ accounts within a few hours. But not only did the strike not die down it spread from the assembly hall until it reached the shuttle hall and the production lines - they all came to a halt.

It was not night-time yet when all the production record bonuses were paid into workers’ accounts. And the workers showed that if they are together, once again, they can stand up to any power. Another victory All the contract workers on the production lines in Iran Khodro will be leaving contractors' companies and be signed up by Iran Khodro itself.

When on May 2 the Industry Minister, who had the mobilised forces supporting him in the Azadi [Freedom] Stadium for a Labour Day ceremony, was silent and ignored [the fact] that hundreds of workers had been arrested on International Labour Day, he was confronted by the shouts of workers calling for the lying minister to resign. They wanted an end to temporary contracts. Then the minister announced that he will keep his promise and that he had told managers under the Ministry’s authority, to give a section of workers permanent contracts before the election.

After that the new [Iran Khodro] management’s notice announced the names of a few thousand workers who were getting [permanent contracts] as part of this public commitment, but the names of the press [hall workers], who are under contract from the PGI contractor, were not among them. After this issue [came to light] the workers of the press hall brought the production lines to a standstill and gathered in front of the management office. The strike continued from the morning to the evening shifts, but before it was time for the night shift, management announced that all workers will be covered by the public commitment. And another victory for the workers of Iran Khodro was chalked up.

Iran Khodro workers 18 May 2009 Translated by Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network

Five of the women activists arrested on May Day have finally been released After 14 days, with the [growing] pressure of public opinion, five more people arrested on May Day, International Labour Day, have been released. Yesterday, May 13, five women - Sharifeh Mohammadi, Fatemeh Shahnazari, Samiyeh Navab, Fatemeh Eghdami and Nasrin Rajavi - who were arrested in Tehran's Laleh Park on International Labour Day, were released on bail. Currently there are nine women in the methadone hall and one woman in the public wing of Evin prison.

The charges against those arrested include propaganda against the [Islamic Republic’s] system - a charge they have rejected. The women have so far been interrogated three times and the last interrogation was very harsh and prolonged, lasting from 3pm until 10pm. The families of the arrested women were told that bail had been set for all of them but just five have been given the legal notice. It should be mentioned that there is no information about the arrested men and that they have not been in contact with their families. The Pursuit Committee for the Formation of Free Labour Organisations, while congratulating these civil activists on their release and wishing them happiness, demands the immediate and unconditional release of the rest of the International Labour Day detainees. Pursuit Committee for the Formation of Free Labour Organisations 14 May 2009

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