Statement Number Two of the Organizing Council of the International Workers’ Day’s Ceremony -1389

 International Workers’ Day, the missing element of the struggle

 Workers and freedom seeking people!  It’s been eleven months since the new wave of people’s protest against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s oppressive actions, against despotism, inequality, dictatorship, oppression, poverty, corruption, ignorance, killings, imprisonment and forced exile. The struggle which seemed to have started under the pretext of protesting against the result of presidential election is rooted in the life of this establishment.  From the very beginning, this establishment engaged in repression of economic and political demands and freedoms of people and workers and labour and socialist forces and other progressive groups, and used these repressive measures to plunder people’s efforts and make profits from it.  

The protest against the result of the presidential election soon changed to the opposition against the entire establishment and created a setting to critique and re-examine both factions within the ruling class. Many people, quite rightfully, used the new atmosphere to raise their voices against dictatorship, religious state, poverty and inequality and the inhuman conditions which have been imposed on the people. The reformist factions of the establishment hastily called the people’s slogans “anti-system” and demanded a return to the Constitution and “Imam” ideas. The reality is that the interests and demands of the majority of people are very different from, and even contrary to, these reformists and their conservative competitors.

The lessons from these events: not only last year’s events but also thirty years of the ruling of the Islamic Republic and the 1979 people uprising, must everlastingly teach us that our economic, social and political demands will not be realized by creating illusions towards any of the factions within the capitalist system, neither a Islamic one which has emerged from theological schools nor the neo-liberal schools of thoughts from the US and the West.

We cannot and shall not wait for decent of an airplane or octopus like domination of any type of a leader with whichever clothing, slogan, deceit or claim. Our gaze shall be focused on organizing from below, by our own people, and based on our own economical-political and social demands. This is the great lesson which we should gain from our past and present.

International day of workers and the significance rooted in it is the key to resolving our puzzle.

The majority of people in our societies are wage and salary earners who sell their labour; these are workers, which, by performing manual or non-manual labour, produce all the wealth in our societies. Which democracy is greater and more comprehensive than a society that has enabled those who produce the riches lead the society as well? 

The financial sources of capitalists were not created as the result of a sudden miracle. Without the labour power no value gets added to the capital. The existence of the capitalist system and capitalist states, whether an Islamic, liberal or monarchy, depends on its ability to continue exploitation by any means necessary. The functioning of all police, intelligence and judicial forces and war mongering is to safeguard the capitalist system and block the unity and organizing of the working class.

If all workers regardless of their trade and professions and being manual and non-manual consciously and collaboratively create their independent working class organizations the essence of the exploitative capitalist relations will be disintegrated. At the same time, the majority of members of our society, by achieving their rights and economic and political demands, will be able to create a real democracy, the ruling of the real majority.

Yes, the International Workers’ Day, and the lessons that the working class has thought us through its bloody struggles, will show us the only path to the society’s emancipation.

People’s protest against repression, inequality, poverty and despotism will have to result in the taking of power by people themselves. The formation of working class independent organizations is the only way to ensure that people’s efforts and struggles would not lead to the empowerment of another capitalist faction. The only guarantee for the establishment of freedom and democracy is the creation of independent worker organizations in all trades and professions, an all-inclusive, powerful and united force that will defy any offensive against people’s desires and demands.

Workers in factories, service workers, wage earners in companies and foundations, nurses, teachers, students, they all should form their independent organizations and the public at large needs to organize neighbourhood councils. The power within the unity of these organizations is a bullet that simultaneously aims two targets:  It will dismantle the exploitative and tyrannical establishment; and it will not allow the power to be high-jacked by another regime; instead people’s organized power will take over.  
International day of workers contains all these lessons and solutions. For years, workers have been raising their Red flag and vociferously crying the meaning of this puzzle. International day of workers in 2010 has coincided with people’s general tumult against oppression, tyranny, and dictatorship. Year 2010 is pregnant with possibilities for immense mass protests and workers’ strikes. Elimination of subsidies, translates into elimination of people’s livelihood and basic economic capacities. The revenues accumulated through elimination of subsidies, will be spent to prop up the dominant militarism, and pay back shameful loans of World Bank and IMF.

Loans that have become expenses for Capitalists have lead to economic growth of repressive military forces such as Guardians’ Corps, and Basij militias, and an intensification of class differences, making very few extremely wealthy, using peoples’ pockets to pay back their loans.

Even now there are signs of protests against elimination of subsidies, starting with non-payment of water, electricity, gas…bills

This year, workers’ minimum wage approved by Supreme Labour Council (SLC) is 303,000 toman (about $300.00) a month, which is a third of estimates for line of poverty, all based on regime’s own estimate. SLC is composed of employers representatives (who set the levels for lowest wages), state’s representative (who support Capitalists, and are themselves a major employer) and representatives from “Workers’ House” and Islamic Labour Councils (which are totally anti-worker creations of the state). Even if genuine workers’ representatives participate in SLC, they still would have only a minority in SLC and unable to stop states and employers’ votes. In fact in this system (tripartism) workers don’t even have an opportunity to price the commodity they’re selling, their labour, whereas wages shall be determined by autonomous workers’ organizations.

In such times, people and workers are asked to “double their efforts!” Demands are made from workers who cannot even work their own long hours, and after working two or three jobs, still can’t manage to pay their bills.

In another attempt to attack people’s basic liberties, and instituting an atmosphere of fear and intimidation they implement the project for “social security”. We believe freedom is one’s attire, and people’s relations are basic parts of a decent life and human rights.

The best reaction to such aggressions towards people’s lives and assets, and their meagre earnings, are organized protests, through peoples’ and workers’ created organizations  Within the labour movement efforts to create autonomous organizations has been under way for some years now. It is precisely for this reason that Capitalist system of the Islamic Republic are attacking labour activists and leaders. A great number of labour activists and leaders in the past few years have been the target of anti-worker Islamic Capitalism, including Mahmoud Salehi (in Saghez), Ebrahim Madadi and Mansour Osanloo (The Syndicate of Vahed Workers) and their colleagues, Ali Nejati and his other co-workers (of the Haft Tapeh Workers’ Syndicate) and many other labour activists and teachers … but such  attacks have not stopped the movement.

Because of all the reasons mentioned above on May 1st, 2010 (Saturday 11th of Ordibehesht 1389) most important goals and demands of people and especially the workers will be expressed in our slogans everywhere. The aim of us, the workers, shall be to project and struggle for these goals and demands not only on May 1st but on all occasions through an indefatigable effort.

1 – We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners (including worker prisoners and teachers, students, child rights activists, journalists) and all prisoners of conscience and as well as those imprisoned following recent events. Protest and freedom of expression are among the basic and inalienable rights of the people. All judicial sentences for political-social activists and workers are to be cancelled and prosecution against them ceased.

2 – Freedom to form independent working class organizations and parties, freedom of association, and right to protest, strike and freedom of press and expression and thought are our absolute human rights.   We will not stop our struggles for the freedom to exercise these rights.

3 – The determination of 303,000 tomans as a minimum wage by the Supreme Council of the labour, when the poverty line as announced by several official institutions is 900,000 tomans, is a sign of the endless thirst of a capitalist system to exploit more workers and wage earners to maximize profit. We want the minimum wage to be announced by the representatives of independent worker organizations and their independent organizations based on a dignified and humanitarian life.

4 – We go up against anti-human, barbaric and profit-based plan of the removal of subsidies ( targeting the goods’ subsidies) that is nothing but complaisance to serve the interests of domestic and global capitalism. We will not stop any strike and protest and are inviting the public to widely protest against these anti-people action.

5 – We emphasize the necessity of providing retirees with the basic needs for a dignified life, and want the elimination of all modern slavery systems and its methods, including the signing of blank contracts and temporary contracts.

6 – We want all members of society to benefit from free education, health care and public services.

7 – Other social movements like women’s and children’s rights movements and the student movement are our allies, and we consider any offense towards them, an attack towards workers’ movement and an invasion of human dignity of the majority of our society.

8 – We support migrant workers, including Afghan immigrants in Iran, and count ourselves in the international fight in support of the needs and demands of all workers of the world. We also demands that May 1st be recognized as a national holiday without restriction on ceremonies of all kind on this day.

Long live international solidarity of the working class

 

The Organizing Council of the International Workers’ Day’s Ceremony -1389

(1may1389@gmail.com) April 28th.2010

The Organizing Council of the International Workers’ Day’s Ceremony of 1389 (2010) taking into consideration various times and locations, while inviting other individuals and groups whom had suggested other places due to delay in announcing the program and lack of cohesion for a predetermined program, announces that we workers, independent of any demands and programs affiliated with any political group will come together with our slogans on Saturday, May 1st, and shout our demands, including the above eight demands).

International Workers’ Day celebration: Tehran, 5 pm,  Freedom Street, in front of the Ministry of Labour, followed by a march towards Revolution Square, (crossing Khosh St., Rudaki St., Navab St., Eskandari St., Jamalzadeh St. and the Revolution Square) and in other cities in front of the Ministry of labour offices or other places and times determined by workers themselves.

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