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Statement on the Deplorable Conditions of Workers and Children

The following is a joint statement by a number of labor organizations on the recent deaths of children and workers in Iran.

The spate of tragic occurrences involving workers and children point to widespread negligence on the part of authorities and employers.

A number of Afghan workers were found dead after being buried under rubble while at work in the Tehran Pars area; miners at a Tabas coal mine were killed… this kind of news has a regular feature of the news media. According to the statistics, up to 5.5 workers could lose their lives on a given day on account of work-related accidents because of lax safety and health conditions.

Thanks to gratuitous unaccountability of authorities in the matter of public health and safety– particularly as it concerns workers and their families– we should not be at all surprised to see a jump in the number of reports related to work accidents, incidents at home, and death in the thoroughfares.

Parallel to this perilous state, there is now every indication to believe that the lives of children are at serious risk in dilapidated neglected school buildings. The number of casualties at the (village of) Shinabad has now reached 37 of whom two children have passed away. Unfortunately, instead of increasing safety standards and amenities at villages and provinces, the authorities have taken to assigning blame on the teachers, custodians, and even the heating devices as a way to escape accountability.
Who is going to answer for the ruined lives and futures of those children and their hapless teacher who must contend with damaged limbs and body parts?

We the undersigned labor groups, while expressing our full solidarity with the recent statement of the Teachers Trade Association, remind the state authorities of their responsibility toward their constituencies and call on the families of the affected workers and children to lean on one another and organize themselves in collective organizations as a way of healing themselves.

For achieving a better future to work and live under, there is no solution but to unite, to organize and to come together in nationwide structures.

Forward together towards creating independent and nation wide workers’ organizations in Iran.
December 2012

Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate
The Inauguration Committee of the Syndicate of Construction, Paint and Decoration Workers
Project-Based Workers Union
Metal and Mechanical Workers Syndicate
Free Union of Iranian Workers
Workers Rights Defenders Center

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