Workers’ Letter to the ILO

Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Factory Workers Syndicate Letter to ILO on the Firing and Persecution of the Workers

April 19, 2011
From: Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Workers Syndicate
Topic: Rebuttal of the Claim by the Iranian Government Representative on the Reinstatement of the Fired Haft Tapeh Workers and Complaint on the Firing and Persecution of these Workers

We have recently heard that the Iranian representative to the International Labor Organization (Mr. Habib Tavakolzadeh, the international affairs chief at Iranian Labor Ministry) has claimed that the fired Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers and members of the syndicate of this company do not have any further issues and are currently reinstated in their jobs.
The fired Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers by now, in addition to facing incarceration and numerous security, psychological, and financial pressures, were fired from their jobs about two years ago. Contrary to the claims by the Iranian representative in that organization’s main session, we have gone through all the legal channels to counter the dismissL decision. We have complained twice to the labor office (the labor ministry representative in the city of Shoush). We have also submitted a complaint to the administrative justice court, which has ruled the same illegal, anti-labor, inhumane ruling on our terminations.
Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers have received no wages for about two years, and our families have suffered from these hardships. Recently, management has used this situation to issue a letter indicating to us that we should refer to the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company to settle all our back claims, after which we may possibly engage in temporary contract work. They have explained that they will ignore all our past experience and treat us like new hirees. You are well aware that this gimmick is for us to severe all our ties with Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane company and forget about all our seniority claims and past relations with the company. They want us to cut our ties with the company on our own behalf so that we will not be able to claim any relations, representations, or activity.
The Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Workers Syndicates, while strongly refuting the Iranian government’s claims, calls for the reinstatement of the fired Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane syndicatists Ali Nejati, Fereidoun Nikoufard, Ghorban Alipour, Mohammad Heidari Mehr, Jalil Ahmadi, and Reza Rakhshan — all members of the board of directors of the Syndicate — and the other fired worker, Behrooz Nikoufard.
This Syndicate calls on the authorities at ILO, workers’ organizations and media to do all they can to pressure the Iranian government to reinstate these workers in their jobs and to end the firing, persecution, and incarceration of all workers and workers activists and to respect the free association of the workers organization. We are only persecuted, fired and put in jail because of exercising our basic right to independent labor organizations, and it is imperative for the Iranian government to end all such practices immediately.

Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Factory Workers Syndicate
April 18, 2011
cc: Workers Organizations and Societies, Media, Human Rights Organizations


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