Workers’ Struggles in Iran- News and Reports- Updates as November 14, 2008- IASWI

 ·         Afshin Shams sentenced to one year imprisonment

·         The internal Board Election of Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate AND the management threats against the new syndicate

·         The Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ Solidarity Message to Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate

·         Alborz Tire Workers rally outside the President’s Office

·         Tayeb Molayee Arrested; Taha Azadi Summoned to court

·         Mohammad Jarahi will be back to court again

·         Osanloo beaten by the Jail’s security officers and was refused eye treatment

·         Mahmoud Salehi’s Statement on the current crisis

·         Solidarity Message to the striking Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903

Labour Activist, Afshin Shams sentenced to one year imprisonment

The Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ organizations reports that on November 1, 2008. Afshan Shams received his verdict from the court according which he has been sentenced to one year imprisonment. The verdict was given without the presence of Afshin’s lawyer.

Afshin was arrested at his work in city of Aligoodarz on July on July 3, 2008 and later was transferred to Dastgerd prison in Isfahan . A few days later, the intelligence agents of Isfahan searched his father’s home and confiscated all his drafts and scripts related to labour movement issues.

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The internal Board Election of Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate AND the management threats against the new syndicate

 

The first meeting of the newly elected Board Members of Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate (Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate) was held, with full participation, on October 29, 2008. In this meeting, a number of positions were filled through an internal Board election with the observation of one of the elected inspectors of the union. The results were as follows:

 

1- Ali Nejati, President of the Executive Board;

2- Feridoun Nikoufard, Vice-President of the Executive Board;

3- Nejat Dehli, Treasurer;

4- Reza Rakhshan, Responsible for Public Relations and Education and contact person with the Agricultural Office;

5- Rahim Beshagh , representative for commercial affairs,

6- Ali Sharifi and Mohammad Heydari Mehr, representatives on industry affairs;

7- Ghorban Alipour, Secretary

 

According to the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate, on November 10, 2008, the elected representatives of the syndicate met with Mr. Yaghoub Shafiee, from the company’s management, to discuss some work-related issues including issues faced by contract workers; however, the management refused to discuss any of these issues with them. Instead, they said that the ministries of Industry, Labour as well Intelligence have informed the employers that they do not recognize the syndicate of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Workers. Therefore according to government authorities it is not legally recognized and they may face legal prosecution. The syndicate has insisted they are thr genuine representatives of workers and have every right to choose their own labour organization without government interferes.

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*The Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ Solidarity Message to Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate

 

To Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate

 

On behalf of the 56,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Woprkrs, I  am writing this letter to congratulate you for your successful general election of your executive board members and other representatives for the first time in more than two decades. I want to thank you for your courageous efforts to form an independent labour organization. We are expressing our solidarity and support.

 

We will also be sending this message to the Iranian government and asking the Government to respect workers’ rights to organize, assemble and strike, put an end to persecution of labour activists and not to interfere in the affairs of independent workers’ organizations.

 

In solidarity,

Denis Lemelin

National President

 

*See the Farsi translation of this letter in the Haft Tapeh Syndicate’s website in Iran : (http://7tapeh.blogfa.com). We urge other labour activists/ organizations to send similar solidarity messages to the Syndicate as they are under extreme pressures and systemic oppression. For more information, contact info@workers-iran.org.

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Alborz Tire Workers rally outside the President’s Office

On November 10, 2008, workers of Alborz Tire staged a rally outside the president’s office. Despite the cold and rainy day, near 1000 workers participated with their placards and demanded the payment of their wages. These workers have not been paid for 7 months. They carried placards stating “We have not been paid for 7 months! How about you, Mr. President?”

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Tayeb Molayee Arrested; Taha Azadi Summoned to court

 

The Free Union of Workers in Iran reports that Mr. Tayeb Molayee, a member of the Executive Board of this labour organization was arrested on November 12, 2008. The security forces, from the police station # 15 in Sanandaj, raided Tayeb Molaayee’s residence and arrested his brother and announced that they would not free him unless Tayeb reported to them in person. A day after Tayeb goes to the police station and he was immediately arrested and on November 13th he was transferred to the Sanandaj’s central prison. He is incommunicado at this time and the authorities denied his mother a visit. Tayeb is facing frame-up charges of possessing a weapon as well as having a satellite TV. In fact, the security forces confiscated a satellite dish belong to Tayeb’s neighbour but claimed that belonged to him.

Another member of The Free Union of Workers in Iran , Mr. Taha Azadi, who is an alternate board member, was summoned to court by the deputy prosecutor of Kangan. In this summon, he has been told that he has only 7 days from the receipt of that summon to report to the prosecutor office of Kangan. He is charged with propaganda against the system. Mr. Azadi, along with Mr. Javanmir Moradi, were arrested in May for participating in May Day event and spent 47 days in prison and endured physical and emotional torture.  Taha Azadi and Javanmir Moradi, both member of board of directors of Free Union of Workers in Iran , were released on a $10,000 bail. They were arrested in Asalooyeh – Booshehr on May Day and were jailed for 47 days.

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Mohammad Jarahi will be back to court again

Mr. Mohammad Jarahi, who is a 48 year old labour activist and a resident of the city of

Tabriz, was arrested and sentenced to 4 month imprisonment without a trial or being

given the right to defend himself. Mr. Jarahi is a member of the Committee to Pursue

the Establishment of Free Workers’ Organizations in Iran . His lawyer appealed this sentence with the sixth branch of the appeal court of the East Azarbaijan province. He is now scheduled for hearing on December 5, 2008.

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Osanloo beaten by the Jail’s security officers and was refused eye treatment

 

According to an statement by the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Mansour Osanlo, the Syndicate’s president of the board, was supposed to be transferred from his prison to Labafinejad Hopital for eye treatment on November 2, 2008; however the authorities decided to transfer him to another hospital, which caused Mr. Osanloo to protest this decision because Osanloo’s doctors and all his medical files have been in Labafinejad Hospital. The security officers beat Osanloo and then return him to the Rajayee-sharh prison without any treatment.

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Mahmoud Salehi’s Statement on the current crisis

 

To my dear friends and comrades, to all those who campaigned for my freedom and supported my colleagues in Iran ;

 

Now that the capitalist system is imposing its deep crisis on all of us, we, workers in Iran , not only are with you wherever in the world, we in the same way are seeking for a solution.

 

To my fellow working women and men in countries around the world; to millions of families whose homes have been repossessed by capitalists; to hundreds of thousands of workers who have been laid off and millions others who are constantly worried about losing their jobs and homes: We alongside with you are thinking of solutions.

 

The current economic crisis has already destroyed the living conditions of millions of workers and their families. Various capitalists, politicians and their media have given many explanations for this crisis. Some are saying it’s a god’s wrath and therefore save the capitalist system from the condemnation. The majority claim that the greedy and corrupt bankers are the cause of this crisis.

They do their best to protect the capitalist system. They are distorting the truth while at the same time using our money paid in taxes to subsidize the same bankers for billion of dollars. They’re using our monies and taxes to pay for their debts through state intervention and ownership. However, the first opportunity they get, they would give everything back to the same thieves and corrupts.

They are using radios, televisions, websites, papers and books to convince people that they have no other choice but to accept this misery, unemployment and hunger while allowing billions of dollars to be given to capitalists to create another crisis after this one.

 

They nevertheless know that despite their destructive efforts they can’t deceive class-conscious activist workers. They know that labour activists can mobilize massively and stop all these schemes. Thus they are resorting to Marx to persuade labour activists. They are writing many articles in large newspapers and use news agencies like Reuters to propagate their views. 

They do this because they know well that increasingly more people are reading Marx now and therefore they’re trying to distort Marx’s views. They claim Marx wanted the state to own all manufacturing, financial and service sector institutions and companies. That’s a shame.

 

Marx believed in nationalization of economy under a working class state and not a state-controlled economy under a system run by capitalists.

 

If you are, as we do in Iran , seeking for a viable solution, the first step should be to understand the root causes of this situation and accordingly find the best way for us to overcome these difficult situations. Reading Marx from a working class and anti-capital perspective is an essential step. Of course in each country, workers are facing immediate tasks, such as supporting unemployed workers and those working people who have lost their jobs, homes and savings.  This is something that workers and labour activists in each area can tackle collectively. What I would like to emphasize here is that the current crisis and all its devastating consequences are rooted in the capitalist system. This system is the cause of the crisis as well as unemployment, wars, hunger and other human miseries. To liberate ourselves and put forward an alternative, our class has to organize itself into workers’ councils. This is a viable solution that the working class undertook during the Paris Commune and other class conflicts. This is a path which was theorized and advocated by Marx. This is a solution that our global class in Russia , Spain , Iran and many other countries have strived and sacrificed for. While we are addressing our immediate needs and issues, we need to think of and strategize for this long-term solution.

Mahmoud Salehi,

Saqez, Iran

October 28, 2008

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Solidarity Message to the striking Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903

November 11, 2008

To Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903

 

Dear sisters and brothers and comrades;

 

We are writing this message to express our solidarity and support with your strike for job security, decent wages and benefits and accessible education for all. The CUPE 3903 has always been a progressive force in Canada against capitalist globalization, poverty and in support of workers’ struggles in Canada and other parts of the world. Your victory in this struggle will definitely have positive impacts on the labour movement as a whole.

 

We greatly appreciate your solidarity efforts in the past including resolutions against the US Administration’s drive to war against countries including Iran and in support of independent labour movements in Iran and workers’ right to set up independent workers’ organizations.

 

The right to strike is one of the most basic rights that allow workers to stand up against employers for better working and living condition not only for themselves but also for the society at large. We are with you in this struggle; we support your just demands and wish for your victory soon. We also call on the York University to settle the strike by negotiating a fair collective agreement now!

 

In Solidarity,

International Relations- International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

(For more information about CUPE 3903 strike, or to send solidarity messages, refer to http://cupe3903.tao.ca/ )

           

For more information, contact info@workers-iran.org or alliance@workers-iran.org

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

Background Information: www.workers-iran.org

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