Message from Five Independent Iranian Labor Unions

Five independent Iranian labor unions sent a message of solidarity to the second World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation held in Vancouver BC, Canada from June 21 to June 25, 2010. The message describes the Iranian government’s relentless attacks on independent labor union leaders and activists. The text of the message is being reprinted from Iran Labor Report.

Message of Solidarity to the General Assembly of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
Persian source:
Translator Unknown

We send plentiful greetings to our friends and colleagues participating in the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Assembly. Friends, we are extremely distressed that no representative of the Iranian labour movement is present among you to demonstrate the solidarity of Iranian workers with your General Assembly, and to inform you of the day-to-day issues of today’s Iranian labour movement. Nevertheless, know that despite the distance between us, we see ourselves by your side and wish for a most productive and victorious week for you and for the global labour movement.

Comrades and colleagues, for nearly a decade now, you have come to our aid with your strong support, and have been intimately involved in our problems and struggles. We nevertheless wish to inform you that the Iranian labour movement is enduring one of its darkest times ever.

Throughout its lifespan, the Iranian government has not only completely disregarded its commitments to international labour conventions and basic workers rights, but in light of the political situation in Iran during the past year, the government has paved the way for fiercely attacking even the most basic workers rights, and to strike against the few existing Iranian labor organizations with ever increasing intensity.

Our colleagues Mr. Saeed Torabian and Mr. Reza Shahabi were captured at home and at their workplace, in front of their families, in broad daylight and without presentation of any warrants, on completely fallacious charges. It has been two weeks that their families and colleagues have absolutely no information about their fate or condition. Also within the past two weeks, two other labor activists, Mr. Alireza Akhavan and Mr. Behnam Ibrahim, were captured and transported to an unknown location. Messrs. Mansour Osanloo and Ibrahim Madadi have spent the last three years in prison because they organized a labour union. Not only have they had no respite or liberty throughout these past three years, but they have also been denied medical attention while being detained in the most dangerous and deplorable prisons.

Members of the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory Syndicate have not only been thrown in prison for labour related activity, but have also been fired from their jobs. The execution of Mr. Farzad Kamangar, and the other baseless detainments, sentences of prison time and whip lashing for the very few Iranian labour union activists, has created extremely troublesome conditions for them, and for any potential basic labour union activities. Not only educators themselves, but their relatives and loved ones have suffered as a result of these problems. Many of them are in prison or on their way to prison.

Friends and colleagues, this year we witnessed in the ILO’s annual meeting that Iran’s government was not only not reproached more than previous years, but actually received a “bonus” by being removed from the ILO violators list. We know very well that you make every possible effort at your disposal to see that the Iranian labour movement is not sacrificed to governmental political and economic turbulence [Persian expression used here is “zad va band” which can be translated as conspiratorial deals–FA]

We hereby recognize your current efforts in support of the Iranian labour movement with utmost gratitude, but respectfully request and expect that you continue your support with redoubled intensity and effort. We wish for you to take greater steps towards driving back the horrendous conditions imposed upon Iranian workers.

To obtain their basic rights, workers have no other recourse but the expression of class solidarity. More so than ever before, we reaffirm our reliance on international workers solidarity. We hereby shake your hand in concordance, and send our warmest regards and our greatest solidarity to you.

Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Vahed)
Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company
Union of Free Workers of Iran
Committee for Re-Certification of the Mechanics and Steelworkers Syndicate
Association of Electrical and Steel Workers Kermanshah

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