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Iranian Workers Solidarity Network (english)
04 Nov 2003
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
شبکه همبستگی کارگری
BM IWSN, London WC1N 3XX, England.
iranwsn (at) yahoo.co.uk - http://iwsn.topcities.com/
During the past few years there has been a massive growth in the sheer number of workers going unpaid in Iran- sometimes for as much as 32 months. Yet when workers protest against this situation they are beaten, arrested and even shot! The Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network was launched to raise these issues throughout the international labour movement. Now that the ILO has taken an interest in Iran and is preparing to open an office in Tehran, the question of what type of trade unions are going to be allowed in the country has become an immediate one.
This campaign has been initially sponsored by Jeremy Dear (General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists) in Britain, and Ahmed Manzoor, the President of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign and a member of Parliament in Pakistan. We ask you to support the campaign. Add your names to it, circulate it, and raise the model resolution provided in your trade union branch.(November 3,2003).
Support the resolution on Iran's labour conditions and the Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN) campaign
Supporters of labour rights throughout the world!
The imminent opening of the office of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Iran represents an unprecedented step. For the first time in history the Iranian workers will see the workings of an international body that upholds many labour standards through over one hundred conventions. And yet, the ILO's activities in Iran will not help Iranian workers' fulfil all of their demands. Only the solidarity of the international labour movement can guarantee this!
The class solidarity of trade unionists and labour activists throughout the world will ensure that struggles of Iranian workers help them achieve their basic demands:
· the right to strike,
· the right to form unions independent of the regime (and its various supporters), and
· the right to elect genuine representatives.
The realisation of these basic demands will advance the class struggle in Iran in leaps and bounds. These rights will allow the workers to fight the many problems like unpaid wages, sackings and redundancies, factory closures and privatisation they face.
What has been happening in Iran?
During the past few years there has been a massive growth in the sheer number of workers going unpaid - sometimes for as much as 32 months. The problem of unpaid wages in many factories has obviously serious consequence for hundreds of thousands working class families. Yet when workers protest against this situation they are beaten, arrested and even shot! For example, when the workers of Baresh Textiles in Esfahan protested about unpaid wages on May Day 2001 they were brutally suppressed by the riot police - resulting in 50 of the textile workers being arrested and more than 20 being injured. When the workers of Jamco and Shadanpoor demonstrated in front of parliament for their back pay they were attacked and shot. And this is a problem that just keeps growing!
We have also seen a huge increase in the number of temporary contracts. These puts workers in an even more uncertain employment situation and also deprive them of the even limited rights mentioned in the Labour Code.
The Iranian regime has also been using 'legal' methods to limit workers' rights and attack their livelihoods. Several laws have been introduced which have successively raised the minimum size of workshops that are not covered by the regime's stunted Labour Code. First they said that workshops with less than three (or less) workers would be excluded from the limited cover of the Code, and then raised this to five and then ten (or less) workers. These Labour Code amendments 'legally' deprive hundreds of thousands of workers in these small units from having the absolute minimum of social guarantees and rights.
The widespread job losses, which sink workers already below the poverty line into an abyss from which they cannot escape until genuine trade unions are set up in Iran, ruin the lives of millions of workers and their families. In a country where jobless and sacked workers do not receive any unemployment insurance almost a million youth join the ranks of the unemployed every year!
What you can do to help!
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network intends to launch a long-term solidarity campaign for the support of Iranian workers in achieving their just demands. We hope to organise a range of activities to help Iranian workers set up truly independent and effective workers' organisations. With the help of labour activists and progressive elements like yourselves throughout the world we can build a campaign that can mobilise solidarity action together with moral and financial assistance.
The first step would be for you to help us raise the issues facing the Iranian working class within the British labour movement. Support the IWSN resolution in your trade union branch. Ask other branches to endorse it and put it forward for your national conference. Ask you trade union's international department to recommend it to other unions and to raise it at the next TUC Congress.
Help us to push the case for a visit by a delegation of trade unionists to be allowed to travel to Iran to assess the situation of the Iranian working class.
· To see that the workers have the right to strike.
· To see that the "labour unions" being set up are organisations that are independent of the regime, and all its factions, "fronts" and supporters.
· To see that workers have the right to elect genuine representatives.
This is your campaign and much as it is ours! Help us build a big wave of support that helps Iranian workers get their basic labour rights!
Send messages to contact (at) marxist.com and iranwsn (at) yahoo.co.uk.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN)
11 October 2003
Model resolution on Iran's labour conditions and
support for the Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN)
This branch believes that:
· The Islamic regime of Iran is a brutal dictatorship that crushes any attempt at setting up independent trade unions. Beatings, unlawful arrest, routine torture and even execution are used against labour activists.
· Iranian workers are denied basic trade union rights, including the right to strike, to form independent unions and to elect genuine representatives.
· Despite the election of Khatami as President over six years ago, and a 'reformist' majority in parliament for over four years, there have been no improvements in the living and working conditions of workers.
· The imminent opening of the office of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Iran will not fulfil all of the workers' demands.
· The Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN) is one of the bodies active in mobilising international support for the daily and ongoing struggles of the Iranian working class. IWSN aims to help Iranian workers achieve all of their demands.
This branch supports:
· The struggles of Iranian workers for the right to strike, to form unions independent of the regime (and its supporters) and to elect genuine representatives.
· The resistance of Iranian workers to unpaid wages, sackings and redundancies, factory closures and privatisation.
· The opposition of Iranian workers to any reduction to the already limited protection of the Labour Code, particularly in workshops.
· The actions of labour activists to put pressure on the Iranian regime and the ILO so that all the workers' demands are met.
· The work of IWSN in defending workers who have been imprisoned for demanding their basic rights.
· The efforts of IWSN to publicise the Iranian workers' lack of trade union rights and their economic plight.