Comrades, workers’ representatives, Human Rights activists, honorable and freedom-seeking individuals

 Image101st annual meeting of ILO is underway, with much gratitude to the collective of French labor syndicates for initiating this call for today in support of Iranian workers, we invite all you comrades and workers’ representatives to this protest in solidarity and in support of workers in Iran. Iranian workers are still deprived from having their true, genuine representatives at ILO’s annual meetings. Speaking about independent autonomous workers’ organizations and formations in Iran is considered a crime and criminal penalties are imposed on anyone daring to challenge this.

 Many workers’ wages have not been paid for months; worker daring to protest these long delayed payments are violently suppressed and their representatives incarcerated. Factory closures and expulsion are on the rise in a massive scale: a glance at strikes and protest by workers in Iran testifies to all these realities.

 According to ILO’s protocols 87 and 98: workers shall enjoy a basic right to form their own independent and autonomous organizations and formations, without any need for permission from the state. In Islamic Republic of Iran such basic workers’ right is considered a crime and tens of incarcerated labor activists and leaders are currently in jails of Islamic Republic, because they have dared to establish their own independent formations..

 Organizing independent International Workers’ Day, May 1st, festivities and (not sanctioned by the state) is also considered a crime, and participants are subjected to violent attacks by the state security forces and their para-military forces. Many participants in May 1st events of this year and previous years have been arrested, incarcerated and even flogged, because of their participation in May 1st festivities.

 Vast majority of Iranian workers also suffer from temporary work contracts, known as “white agreements” (since workers have to sign blank sheets of paper, leaving the content to be written late by the employer, as they wish) or are hired on monthly basis, with no job security or any benefits at all. While workers lack any protection, their employers enjoy the full legal and extra-legal support of the government and all their agencies.

 According to the Labor Code in Islamic Republic all shops with less than ten employees are not subject to the existing meager, puny legal protections of Labor Laws in Iran, thus practically reinforcing slave conditions for those workers employed in small shops.

 The official minimum wage in Islamic Republic is actually only a third of the official poverty line, and any labor activist or leader, or progressive economist daring to point out such facts are arrested and incarcerated, as has been the case with Mr. Fariborz Raiesdana’s recent case.

 Industrial accidents at work sites continue to devastate workers and their families. While workers lack any industrial protection, employers and the state offer no plan to prevent further accidents. Many complaints from workers have remained unanswered and unresolved.

 Female workforce in Iran faces an even worse, harsher work condition than the rest. Reactionary patriarchal laws and values of Islamic Republic: extensive unemployment; and  state’s lack of any coherent economic planning; all contribute to imposition of harshest work conditions on women. Those women “fortunate” enough to find work, are often paid half the wages paid to their male counter parts. The situation in country side for agricultural women workers are even worse than the ones faced by urban women workers, turning them into virtual salves. All statistics in this field point to a shocking extreme degree of exploitation of women in Islamic Republic.

 Child labor for children under 18 is officially documented. While according to official sources there are a million and a half children working either as street peddlers, or in small shop (off limits to any “legal” protection). According to other sources there are about seven million child laborers in Iran.

 According to official statistics there are three million unemployed graduate students as well.

 We have been pointing out all these facts to you for past several years, and are requesting from you again to expose and condemn Islamic Republic of Iran as a violator and abuser of the working class in Iran. It is our firm belief that Islamic Republic due to its predatory nature is only after plundering Iran’s natural resources and destruction of its industries. We are also fully cognizant of the fact that world Capitalism is concerned only with its own interest, and their conflict with Islamic Republic (IR) does not bring any legitimacy for IR, their struggle is merely over the share of the plunder, and Iran’s strategic location in the Middle East region. World Capitalism has subjected Iranian working class to economic boycott and psychological warfare. All class conscious workers are aware of the fact that working class of Iran pays the heaviest price for imposed economic sanctions. While the workers in Iran are facing a myriad of issues and experiencing and amalgamation of problems in their daily lives we urge all of you to place three points on your agenda, concerning the working class of Iran:

 1)      According to protocols 87 and 98 of ILO, independent workers’ organizations in Iran, shall be considered legitimate and legal entities,-without any interference from the state-, free to establish and be active as such.

2)      All labor activists, labor leaders and their defenders that are currently incarcerated shall be immediately and unconditionally freed.

3)      Equality of rights between women and men in the workforce shall be guaranteed. All child labor shall be abolished. All child laborers shall be provided with free education and job training.

 Long live international workers’ solidarity against predatory Capitalism!

  International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran ( IASWI )    

  info@workers-iran.org /

 www.workers-iran.org

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