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

 

 May Day Reports from Iran | Protests in Tehran, Tabriz, Kurdistan, Qazvin, Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan …

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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May Day Reports from Iran | Protests in Tehran, Tabriz, Kurdistan, Qazvin, Mashhad, Shiraz, Isfahan

Written by Saeed Valadbaygi, May 1, 2010

High Volume of Security in Tehran for International Worker’s Day

Received reports indicate that in accordance with International Worker’s Day (that is recognized on May 1st) a high volume of security is apparent in Tehran, especially in the central region.

Military and disciplinary officers are concentrated in Enghelab Square until near Azadi Square. [Government-operated] vans are stationed around Enghelab Square.

The Kaleme website reports that the security agents are concentrated outside the Ministry of Labour and Laborer’s House (on Azadi Street). The area has been reported to look like a military zone.

There are also reports from Fatemeh Square of security agents based across the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

A number of Iranian employers have threatened their staff with termination from their position if they decide to act in protest for International Worker’s Day.

Workers Gather in Protest after Labour Minister Speech in Mashad

Yesterday in Mashad, on the first national conference for the day of labour mobilization and celebration of worker martyrs, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, analyzed the third verse of Surat Al-Baqarah from the Qur’an and then interpreted the concept of absence of the Imam and faith. Since the conference was supposed to be held on May Day and he did not mention the situation of workers in Iran,

a group of workers gathered after his speech in the Ayeha building to protest the minister’s talk.

One of the workers said, “We expected the minister to say better words on the improvement of workers situation, but he did not even mention workers.”

Another worker said, “When the Health or Education Minister talks, part of the speech focuses on congratulating nurses and teachers, but the Labour Minister spoke and didn’t say a word about workers.”

A worker Mohammad Karimi said, “The minimum we expected from the Labour Minister was that after he analyzed the Qur’an, he would talk about problems pertaining to workers and also provide solutions.”

He added, “Unfortunately, in our country, there is no value for workers. The proof of this is all the letters and correspondence I had with the Ministry of Labour since March 2009 that have gone nowhere.”

Buses Filled with Workers Stopped By Regime Forces, Man Badly Beaten

Despite the strong security atmosphere, a gathering began in front of the Ministry of Labour. Currently a crowd has gathered in Azadi and Enghelab Squares. Some people are holding flowers to commemorate May Day.

Between Enghelab and Azadi Squares, undeclared martial law continues. INA correspondent reports three buses full of workers coming from Varamin was stopped by police.

The forces acknowledged that the workers were on their way to the demonstration, but did not allow them to proceed. One worker was badly beaten and left there in his blood.

May Day Protest Gathering in Shiraz

Workers in Shiraz organized a protest gathering on the occasion of International Worker’s Day (I.e. May Day).

The gathering took place in front of Shiraz’s Azadi Avenue in the province of Fars. Demonstrators held banners that read: “Expelling workers will bring them a black destiny.” Another banner read: “Workers, congratulations on your day of employment, we won’t sit down until we get what is ours.”

One of the workers at the gathering said that in the last few months he has been expelled from the Gooshe Fars industrial complex and has not been paid his wages for seven months. The annonymous worker explained that Gooshte Fars Industrial Complex has been shut down for over two months and close to 1,200 workers are now unemployed.

Workers from the Gooshte Fars factory also protested their situation in March and April 2010.

Several Hundred Protesters Gather in Tabriz for May Day

Several hundred workers in Tabriz gathered in front of the Labour Department to celebrate International Worker’s Day

Based on reports recieved by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI), several hundred workers and citizens gathered in front of the Labour Department on Khomeini Street in Tabriz and protested against massive expulsions, unemployment, and poverty.

The protests began at 11:00am (Tehran time) and hundreds of people continue to protest [as evening approaches]. The gatherings have taken place despite the vast presence of oppressive forces.

Eyewitnesses have reported over 40 cars belonging to regime agents stationed at the scene of protest. Also, a large number of baton-wielding motorcyclists are patrolling the streets. Plainclothes forces from the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards are present in strong numbers as well.

Heavy security presence in Tehran and other major cities

According to eye witness reports, there were heavy security presence in Tehran and some other major cities of the country on International Worker’s Day.

Kaleme website reports on the large security and plain cities militia presence in the central areas of the Tehran and near Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Organization.

Based on this report there have been gatherings and heavy security presence in other major cities of Iran including, Tabriz, Shiraz and Qazvin; in these gatherings workers by holding signs in their hands stressed that layoffs will bring the workers “Black fate” and some other signs read: “Worker, congratulation on your Unemployment Day” and “We will not give up until we gain our rights”.

There have also been some unconfirmed reports of clashes between protesters and security forces.

International Worker’s Day celebration in Saqez, Kurdistan

On may 1, 2010, at approximately 5:30am, a large number of workers moved toward Jaghal Mountain, a leisure hanging place for the citizens of Saqez (a city in the province of Kurdistan).

Around 8:00am, a large number of people also gathered at the mountain to celebrate International Worker’s Day.

First a moment of silence was held for those killed for the freedom of the working class. After, everyone stood up and a poem was read to break the silence.

Activist Mahmood Salehi addressed the crowd for Worker’s Day. An article was read by another activist, followed by a poem titled, “I am a worker.”

A student present at the gathering also gave a speech.

At the end, a nationwide resolution was read and then the people, in an organized manner, returned back to the city.

Coordinating Committee for the Formation of Worker’s Organizations

Sources: HRANA , Kalameh , Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI) , Street Journalist

Translations by persian2english.com

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Workers, don’t stop the fight! Ali Nejati’s message from prison for the International Labors’ Day

 

Ali Nejati, the President of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate has been in prison since NOvember 2009.  On the occasion of May 1st-Saturday, International Workers’ Day- sends a message from Dezful Prison for all workers:

To all Workers in Iran and Worldwide
I congratulate you and your families for May 1st, the International Workers’ Day.

This day is the token of solidarity and unity of all the workers throughout the world and it is necessary to realize that in order to achieve our goals and demands, we have no other choice but to unite and come together.  Workers without their independent organizations cannot achieve their demands singlehandedly.  My colleagues and I were tried and thrown in jail because we wanted to create a Trade Union Syndicate in Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company.  However, we, the workers, should never stop fighting for our demands and creating our own independent associations and organizations.

I hope for workers to be successful and proud wherever they are, with their unity and organizations to defend their rights and demands.
Long live International Solidarity of Workers

Ali Nejati
President of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate
May 1, 2010 – Ordibehesht 11, 1389- Dezful Prison

Translated by St. Journalist

 

Ali Nejati summoned back to court when on the verge of his release

According to recent news, Ali Nejati, the Chairman of the board of directors of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Syndicate who was sentenced to six months imprisonment in Dezfool Prison for soliciting and defending the workers’ rights of Haft Tapeh Laborers, was served with a legal summon to attend Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Shoosh.
Ali Nejati will be finishing his six months sentence on the 12th of May and will be freed but he had been summoned to court on May 19th.
Nejati and his other colleagues, Fereydoun Nikoufard, Jalil Ahmadi, Ghorban Alipour and Mohamad Heydari Mehr, were all detained for propaganda against the regime, spreading false accusations and so on.  However, Nejati has to report to court again for the same accusations and defend himself.  This means that Nejati has to defend himself again for the same charges although he had already served imprisonment terms accordingly.

Translated by St. Journalist

Mahmood Salehi and Mohamad Abdipour were summoned by the Intelligence Security Forces

According to the reported received today dated May 1st, 2010, Mahmoud Salehi and Mohammad Abdipour were charged with participating in International Labours’s Day ceremony and detained by the Intelligence Security Forces at 11am with an order from the Saghez’s Prosecutor and were held till 3pm.
It should be noted that they asked these two labour activists to pledge not to participate in the Workers’ Day Ceremony.  However, they refused to make such pledged and the authorities finally had to them by 3pm.

Translated by St. Journalist

Three Labour activists arrested in Sanandaj

 Two members of The Free Union of Workers in Iran, members of this organization have been harassed and interrogated by the agents of intelligence ministry. They have been threatened to stop planning and participating at May Day events and to dissolve their organization. Mr. Sedigh Karimi, a member of The Free union of Workers in Iran’s executive board and Mr. Fayegh Keykhosravi, another member in city of Sanandaj, and a labour activist named Foad Shabakeh Far, member of the Coordinating Committee  to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, have been incarcerated since May Day events in the City of Sanandaj. As of this report, they have not been released yet.   

 SMS with subjects of teachers, instructors and professors being filtered in Iran

Following the arrest of Teachers’ Trade Association Officials in recent days, SMS messages with subjects related to teachers, instructors and professors joined the filtered list of country’s SMS network.  In threshold of Teachers Day, intelligent forces and telecommunication authorities are concerned with regard to use of SMS as a tool to send invitations for gatherings to express teacher’s dissatisfaction. Therefore SMS filtering has been added to their agenda.
According to our correspondents on Saturday May 1st, the country’s telecommunication system using imported software is censuring all SMS related to Teachers’ Day, with or without political themes and contents.  These censures include SMS’s related to congratulating Teachers’ Day.
Meanwhile, the official media as opposed to years ago, is not mentioning the Teachers’ Day as much.  The detention of the officials of Teachers’ Trade Association and Organizations had a widespread reflection among this stratum of society.

Translated by St. Journalist

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For more information/action on workers’ struggles in Iran, contact:

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

; info@workers-iran.org

www.etehadbinalmelali.com

www.workers-iran.org

 

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