There is something remarkably infantile in refusing to look at the name of your enemy and his symbols, rather than come to terms with his existence. It’s a child stuffing its fingers in its ears and chanting “I can’t hear you.” And, though I don’t suppose we should expect better of a business simply trying to make a buck, there is something fundamentally wrong in anyone from the grown-up world facilitating that behaviour in another supposed grown-up.
* Statement of Iranian Workers on Occasion of May First
* Mass arrest of members of Coordinating Committee to Help Form
Workers’ Organizations [CCHFWO], creating an atmosphere of terror and intimidation right before May 1st!
* Solidarity Message From Ghaleb Hosseini, from Sanandaj Central
May Day Event in Tehran!
Almost all existing independent labour organizations and workers’ rights committees (please see below the full statement) in Iran have issued a joint statement and invitation for a May Day event in Tehran on Friday, May 1st, 2009. These workers have already been threatened by the government authorities that their event is considered illegal. Therefore, there are already fear of more arrests and persecutions within the next few days.
May Day 2009 in Tehran:
Date: Friday May 01 ,2009 at 5:00pm
Place: Kargar Street, Laleh Park – Abnama square
Statement of Iranian Workers on Occasion of May First
International Workers’ Day*
May 1st is workers’ international day of solidarity, during which workers across the world mobilize to emancipate from hardships of capitalist system, and express their desire to establish a world free of oppression and exploitation.
This year we celebrate May 1st while the capitalist order is engulfed in an immense quagmire of economic crisis, and struggling very hard to preserve itself.
The unfolding of this great economic crisis, and the capitalist states’ helplessness in controlling of it and unloading of the burden of crisis onto back of workers all over the world, more than ever demonstrates the utter rottenness of this system following the collapse of the Eastern Block and any claims of “the end of history”; this crisis once again proves the necessity of establishing a new world free of capitalist inhumane relations, as the only path out of crisis for workers and civilized humanity.
Contrary to management excuses and capitalist press’ propaganda, as far as Iran is concerned, this crisis and its destructive effects, still has not cast its disastrous shadow over daily lives of workers in Iran. In our opinion most hardships and sufferings which we face on a daily basis, more than any other factor, is a result of the economic and social dominance and operations of the ruling capitalist system in Iran.
Severely low wages, mass lay-offs and expulsions, non-payment of wages for millions of workers, enforcement of temporary work contracts, control of workers’ lives by sub-contracting firms and imposing a new form of slavery through blank-signed contracts, arrest and incarceration of workers, repression of workers’ protests and organizations, carrying out of medieval sentences such as flogging workers, these miseries and violations of workers’ rights did not begin in Iran by the current global economic crisis. Such oppressive conditions have gone on for years and every year their extent and depth has increased.
We workers in confronting these extremely inhumane conditions shall not remain silent, and will not allow our lives to be destroyed any further. We are the original producers of all wealth and riches in the society, and consider it our most basic right to live in peace and comfort according to the highest standard of today’s humanity.
Having a decent human life is one of our most basic rights, and in order to fulfill this goal we shall remove all obstacles through creation of autonomous organizations independent of government and employers, and by relying on our own power of solidarity.
Therefore, today, we, workers united as one, put forth the resolution below as our minimum demands and seek their immediate implementation.
1- Guaranteed job security for all workers and abolition of
temporary-contracts, blank-signed contracts and all new application forms for employment contracts.
2- In our opinion the minimum wages legislated by the
Supreme Labour Council is nothing but imposition of gradual death on working class families. We adamantly demand an immediate increase in minimum wages, based on workers’ own estimates expressed through workers’ real representatives and their independent workers’
3- The right to form independent workers’ organizations,
strike, protest, assembly, and freedom of speech are all part of our inalienable rights. They should be recognized unconditionally as such.
4- Workers unpaid wages shall be immediately paid. Any
non-payment of wages shall constitute a criminal act and litigated.
Workers shall be compensated for any damages due to non-payment of wages.
5- The expulsion or lay-off of workers under any pretext
must be stopped, and all who have been unemployed or have reached the minimum age of employment and are prepared to work, shall receive unemployment insurance benefits, – compatible with decent living standards, until the time of employment.
6- We demand full equality of women and men in all spheres
of social and economic life. All discriminatory laws shall be abolished.
7- All retirees should enjoy a comfortable life free of
economic worries. We strongly condemn any bias or prejudice in paying the retirees pensions and benefits.
8- We strongly support all demands of teachers, as
intellectual workers, nurses and other toiling sectors of society. We consider them as are our allies, and call for the fulfillment of their demands. We demand annulment of Mr.Farzad Kamangar’s death sentence.
9- Since seasonal and construction workers are denied any
and all social benefits, we fully support all their demands to obtain such benefits.
10- The capitalist system is the source of child labour. All children regardless of their parent’s social and economic standing:
their gender, national, ethnic or religious background shall enjoy all educational, welfare and medical benefits.
11- We demand release of all incarcerated workers, including Mansour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, and an end to persecution of labour activists and withdrawal of all sentences against them.
12- We fully support all freedom and equality seeking movements, such as students’ and women’s movements. Their arrests, trials and incarcerations are strongly condemned.
13- We are part of the global working class, and as such condemn any expulsion and exploitation of Afghan or other migrant workers in Iran .
14- We appreciate the international support towards workers’
struggles in Iran and express our adamant support for all protests and struggles of workers throughout the world; we consider ourselves their allies. We more than ever before emphasize on international solidarity of working class as the path to liberation from the hardships of the capitalist system.
15- May 1st shall be recognized as an official holiday and instituted in the official national calendar as such. All limitations and restrictions for the commemoration of The May Day shall be abolished.
LONG LIVE THE FIRST OF MAY
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY OF WOPRKING CLASS
May 1st, 2009 (Ordibehest 11, 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 Center for Workers’ Rights in Iran
– 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’
Mass arrest of members of Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations [CCHFWO], creating an atmosphere of terror and intimidation right before May 1st!**
On April 17th, 2009 while members of CCHFWO were attending a meeting with the family of Mr. Ghaleb Hosseini,- who has been incarcerated because of his participation in May 1st celebrations of last year-, about 11:00 AM the house was surrounded by security forces, and all members of CCHFWO present in the house were arrested.
CCHFWO members’ presence in that residence stems from our class solidarity, as an expression of support for the families of incarcerated workers, – Mr. Ghaleb Hosseini and Mr. Abdollah Khani-, and based on the belief that celebration of May 1st is one of our most basic rights. Supporting our fellow workers has been and will continue to be one of our nominal class tasks.
Around 11o’clock we realized that the house was surrounded, and security forces by the entrance were separating ladies from gentlemen, and saying that all men have been arrested. All the arrestees were transferred to the police station 12 in Vakil Street of Sanandaj; they were all interrogated, and told by non-uniformed security personnel that their gathering was illegal. CCHFWO members protested this categorization and asked: since when visiting friends has become illegal?
In addition all arrestees were photographed and finger printed. By creating an atmosphere of terror and intimidation security personal repeatedly told members that since CCHFWO is illegal, any gathering in relation to it is also a crime, and they all have to give a written statement of non-cooperation with CCHFWO. Otherwise none will be freed and all will have charges brought up against them by the authorities.
CCHFWO members in response stated that they won’t sign anything and are proud members, since they are all workers, and as worker activists they consider their duty to defend the interests of our fellow workers. After this exchange and members’ adamant defense of their membership, they were all unconditionally released around 5:30PM.
It should be noted that arrestees included a 14 years old youth: Amanj Nikdel, who was unfortunately treated like others and had his picture and fingerprints taken.
We members of Coordinating Committee strongly condemn this brutal treatment, and praise our friends’ resistance in defense of their right, including the right to be members of Coordinating Committee, and defending fellow workers. We sincerely support such resolute class support.
Long live class solidarity and unity of workers!
Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations
Solidarity Message From Ghaleb Hosseini, from Sanandaj Central Prison
My warmest greeting to the members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations,
Thank you very much for visiting my family on April 17, 2009. I greatly appreciate your support toward me and other imprisoned workers and your gesture of class solidarity, especially on the threshold of May Day, the International Workers’ Day. However, I have unfortunately been informed that the intelligence officers unwarrantably arrested and temporarily detained many of you. I am very sorry for this and strongly denounce this unjust action.
After you were released from the detention, I was also informed that all the arrested activists defended their legitimacy and the rightfulness of their fellow workers as well as their right to be members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’
Organizations. This news made me feel happy and satisfied and enhanced my morale and that of my other fellow jailed workers.
Dear fellow members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, your resistance is praiseworthy, and I celebrate your triumph at the threshold of the International Workers’ Day.
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