Latest Statement by the May Day Organizing Committee

· Latest news from Haft Tapeh Workers
· The arrest of members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanic Workers
· Protest at Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, May 27, 2009
· Call to protest in front of ILO, General Conference, 98th session ( Geneva , June 3, 2009)
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Latest Statement by the May Day Organizing Committee:

Workers and freedom loving people of Iran and the world!

As was explained in our previous statements, following our call for May Day assembly on May 1st, 2009 in Laleh Park of Tehran, security forces crushed the rally and arrested more than 150 people. Although many of those arrested have been released, there are about 40 people still in jail. Moreover, a number of workers who are members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanics Workers were arrested on May First as well.

Following our call for a campaign for the freedom of detainees, hundreds of solidarity messages have been issued by labour and human rights organizations and freedom loving individuals from all over the world. While we greatly appreciate all of this support while we are asking all groups and individuals to:

1) Support the families of the imprisoned activists if possible by standing with them. These families are gathering outside the Islamic Revolution Court, on Shariati Avenue , beginning of Moalem Street , demanding the release of their loved ones.

2) We ask all workers and labour and human rights organizations to continue pressuring for the freedom of all detainees.

May 21, 2009 (Ordibehest 31, 1388)

The May Day Organizing Committee:

• The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company

• The Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company

• The Free Union of Workers in Iran

• The Founding Committee of the Syndicate of Building ‘s Painters and Decoration’s Workers

• The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists

– The Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations

– The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers’ Organizations

– A Group of Worker Activists

– The Women’s Council

• The Center for Workers’ Rights in Iran

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Latest news from Haft Tapeh Workers:

Ali Nejati Fired by Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company

Workers are sentenced to jail for “the formation of an illegal union”

According to a statement, dated May 21, 2009, by the Committee in Defence of Haft Tapeh Workers, Mr. Ali Nejati, the president of the board of directors of The Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company, has been fired by the Haft Tapeh Sugar Company with an excuse that he did not report to work for a few weeks although they knew well that he was in jail because of his labour activities throughout that time. The Haft Tapeh Defence Committee emphasize that according to existing laws the company couldn’t fire him for such reasons. However, the reality is that the IRI and employers have been doing this to almost all labour activists for the past several years; first harassing and persecuting them, then criminalizing and imprisoning them, then firing them from their work, then….

The Haft Tapeh Workers’ Defence Committee also reports that according to a written court order which has been given to the lawyer for the persecuted members of the Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate, Ali Nejati, Jalil Ahmadi, Feridoun Nikoufard and Ghorban Alipour each has been sentenced to one year imprisonment (which has been divided into 6 months of incarceration and 6 months of suspended imprisonment) and 5 year prohibition against participation in any workers’ election-related activities. Mr. Mohammad Heydari Mehr has been sentenced to one year imprisonment (4 months jail term and 8 months suspended sentence) and 3 years ban on participation in any elections for workers’ representatives. Also, on the court order “the formation of an illegal union” and other baseless allegations haven stated.

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The arrest of members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanic Workers

On May 1, 2009, members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanics Workers in Tehran had a membership meeting during which the meeting was raided by plain clothes security forces and many were arrested. Although some members were released, there are still 15 others in detention.

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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Protest at Iranian Embassy in Ottawa

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

There will be a demonstration in front of Iranian Embassy in Ottawa at 12:00 PM on May 27, 2009. Labour and progressive organizations and activists around the world are standing in solidarity with workers in Iran , particularly for the freedom of all imprisoned labour activists and for the immediate stop of the persecution of labour and progressive activists in Iran .

The May Day rally and celebration in Tehran , which was organized by independent Iranian labour organizations on May 1st, 2009, was brutally attacked by security and intelligence forces and hundreds were beaten and over 150 people arrested. The intelligence forces brutally attacked the event’s participants including women and children, by baton and tear gas etc. Many of these labour activists are still imprisoned. Those released have been put on heavy bail and will face charges.

The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) does not recognize freedom of association and the right to organize, assemble and free speech and systematically represses all independent activities of workers and progressive forces in the country. The IRI is a cruel capitalist regime, which is fully implementing the anti-worker policies of global capitalism. Moreover, it’s a regime that has been jailing and killing tens of thousands of labour and women’s rights activists, students, socialists and other left and progressive forces in Iran .

Join us in protest against the gross violation of workers’ rights to organize, assemble and frees speech! Protest against ongoing repression of workers and their organizations in Iran !

Where: The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran – 245 Metcalfe St. , Ottawa

Time: 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For more information, please contact:

mehdi1871@yahoo.com;

babakyazdi@yahoo.com;

irankargaran@yahoo.com;

pjahan@yahoo.com;

faridcp@yahoo.com

Phone: 416-997-2945 or 647-449-4120

This rally is organized by “The Solidarity Campaign with the Workers’ Struggles in Iran ”, which is a collaboration amongst numerous Iranian labour, left and progressive activists and organizations based in Toronto .

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Call to protest in front of ILO, General Conference, 98th session ( Geneva , June 3, 2009)

Dear friends and comrades, labour movement activists, anti-Capitalist parties and organizations!

The capitalist regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has accumulated more than 30 years of poverty, unemployment, and destruction of human and financial resources in its dark and hated balance sheet. By squandering enormous amounts of wealth, which are all produced by Iranian workers and toilers, it is engaged in a futile attempt to maintain its homicidal, massively despised rule. This is a regime responsible for violent suppression of all social justice struggles throughout Iran , from workers to students; nurses to teachers, every section of Iranian working class have been severely suppressed by this regime.

While Islamic Republic is most subservient to the international Capital, by consistently imposing some of the harshest neo-liberal policies throughout the land, abroad it takes on a sham “anti-American” pose and has thus manipulated some political parties and unions in other countries. Let’s emphasize once again, the Islamic republic of Iran is not an anti-imperialist force; it’s a cruel capitalist government, which is fully implementing the neo-liberal policies of global capitalism. Moreover, it’s a regime that has been jailing and killing tens of thousands of labour and women’s rights activists, students, socialists and communists and other progressive forces in Iran .

Nevertheless, this deception has gone as far as for the Islamic Republic to officially claim that it was chosen by the ILO to chair the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference in June 2009. Following protests by Iranian labour and progressive groups, the government claimed that it has refused the offer! The reality is that the IRI already chairs the Committee on Employment and Social Policy of the ILO. This committee supposedly studies world employment report (WER) based on decent work and elimination of poverty. The ILO also appointed the IRI as an alternate member of its Board of Directors. All these ILO appointments have been happening concurrent with the neo-liberal agenda of privatizations, lay offs, contracting out, outsourcing, deregulations, and non-payment of wages, etc. which have continued in full force in Iran . For years, the independent labour movement in Iran has protested against the Islamic Republic’s anti-worker labour laws, policies and practices. This is a regime that does not recognize internationally recognized human rights and has imposed the most unbearable and oppressive conditions on working people and deprived masses in Iran . Almost 70 percent of Iran ’s population now lives in absolute poverty.

However, the problems with the ILO’s tripartite policies do not end here. The IRI’s “Workers’ Delegate” are members of “High Coordinating Centre for Islamic Labour Councils”, which are government-sponsored organizations and agents and are not considered independent workers’ organizations by any stretch of the imagination. They are basically the suppressive tools of the Iranian regime but are allowed by the ILO to attend the ILC as “the most representative national organizations of workers”, which is a shame while the real and independent labour activists and workers’ representatives are being persecuted and imprisoned.

Although the Iranian working class has no illusions about the ILO’s tripartism, we nonetheless strongly denounce all these inexcusable ILO appointments. We shall vociferously announce that Islamic Republic is an anti-worker regime; thus, allowing them to participate in and chair these international bodies only serves to encourage them in their utter criminal behavior against working people and deprived masses in Iran . This is the same regime that brutally crushed the May1st celebrations throughout Iran just a few weeks ago, and proved once more for all that it has zero regard for workers’ rights.

We also strongly denounce the presence of the IRI’s so called “Workers’ Delegate” at the ILC and remind the labour delegates from other countries and the world that the agents of this regime are nothing but a bunch of thugs and government and employers’ agents. They have no connection to Iranian workers, and certainly not their representatives whatsoever.

To demonstrate your opposition to violent repression carried out by IRI against the working class in Iran , please join us and other progressive forces in front of the ILO Conference on June 3rd 2009, so we let the world hear our cries of protest.

Time: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 from 12:00 noon

Place: Geneva , in front of the United Nations Geneva headquarters building, the Palais des Nations,

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)- Switzerland

A Group of Progressive Workers in Exile– Switzerland

For more information, contact: Kargar1357@hotmail.de

http://www.workers-iran.org

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Thanks to all protest letters sent thus far:

Sample protest letter: Protest against repression of May Day Events in Iran

Send your protest letters to (Updated by the IASWI, as of May 25, 2009):

To: info@leader.ir ; dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir ; info@judiciary.ir ; iran@un.int ; ijpr@iranjudiciary.org ; info@dadiran.ir ; office@justice.ir; matbuat@mfa.gov.ir; info@police.ir;

Cc: info@workers-iran.org; campain1may@gmail.com

Furthermore, the May Day rally and celebration in Tehran , which was organized by independent Iranian labour organizations on May 1st, 2009, was violently attacked by security and intelligence forces and many were beaten and over 150 people arrested.

About 40 May Day participants are still incarcerated. Moreover, on May 1, 2009, members of the Consumer Cooperative of the Metal-Mechanics Workers in Tehran had a membership meeting during which the meeting was raided by plain clothes security forces and many were arrested. Although some members were released, there are still 15 others in detention.

We condemn these attacks on workers’ rights and independent labour organizations and activists. Workers must have every right to organize and celebrate May Day events. We are asking for the immediate and unconditional freedom of all May Day detainees. We also demand that the government to respect workers’ rights to organize, assemble and strike, put an end to persecution of labour activists, free all jailed workers and not to interfere in the affairs of independent workers’ organizations.

Please mail your protest letter to (optional), and send a copy also to campain1may@gmail.com:

Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Presidency,

Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,

Tehran , Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: + 98 21 649 58 80

Leader of the Islamic Republic:

Ayatollah Sayed *Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Shoahada Street

Qom , Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: 011 98 251 7774 2228

Head of the Judiciary:

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building

Panzdah-Khordad Square

Tehran , Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: 011 98 21 3390 4986 (may be difficult to reach)

Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Institutions in Geneva, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 733 02 03, E-mail: mission.iran@ties.itu.int

CC: International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (info@workers-iran.org).

You can also send your protest letters to the Iranian Embassy in your country: click: http://www.worldembassyinformation.com/iran-embassy/index.html

________________________________________________________________________________

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

info@workers-iran.org or alliance@workers-iran.org

http://www.workers-iran.org

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