National Union of Women Workers Issues an Statement on May Day
The National Union of Women Workers held an officially-sanctioned program celebrating female workers on April 26. A declaration supporting the demands of the female workers was read at the end of the program. The Declaration states the following:
International Labor Day, May 1st, is a reminder of heroic struggles of many workers during the course of history, who, from the very beginning, have been faced with acts of violence, terror and suppression by the imperial forces of the world.
Reactionary regimes, having the support of Western governments and using force, have enacted, enforced and applied discriminatory laws against women.
Even though young laborers, especially young women, comprise one of the largest and hardest-working segments of international society, it is sad to see that during the first decade of the 21st century, their rights are being severely curtailed, despite their enormous contribution toward the advancement of the world’s community. In the few instances where they are allowed to participate, they are continuously discriminated against.
Many workers are hired on a temporary basis without any employment privileges, which leads to employers taking advantage of their situation. In many instances, they are faced with unfair employment opportunities. Rampant sexual discrimination is one of the most troubling issues facing women workers.
Longterm employment is one of the major issues facing women laborers. Consequently, it is one of the most pressing demands of young and female workers.
Depriving women of having a respectable job because of sexual discrimination, in effect, pushes them to the fringes of the society. Many of them feel they have no role in helping to build their society.
Iranian women, participating in diverse social and professional organizations, have played major roles in the revolution, in the regime of the Islamic Republic and even during the years of the Iran-Iraq war. Throughout history, they have played the role of wife and mother and have vastly participated in socio-political and economic aspects of society.
We celebrate the true role of women workers during Labor Week and once again renew our promise to stay together with them. We demand the resolution of the following issues to improve their situation:
1) Freedom for all women in all aspects of society to form their organizations; to enjoy freedom of speech; to have social and familial protection; to fight against poverty and to have a true social standing; to struggle against unemployment; and to attain true social participation.
2) To gain equal rights for female workers in the job market, including an end to unregulated layoffs; an end to contractual work and open-ended contracts; an end to wage discrimination between male and female workers; job security; special privileges for mothers and head of household females; and an end to the exploitation of single, female workers.
3) True and complete implementation of the labor law as it pertains to pregnant workers and nursing mothers.
4) Support of women workers’ labor organizations in order to achieve due and further privileges for advancement of their jobs and positions at all levels.
5) True enforcement of retirement laws, which includes 10 years of service and 55 years of age for female workers.
6) An end to withholding of women retirees’ pensions, especially when it is related to child support.
7) Payments of spousal support to married male workers.
In the end, we are hopeful that the regime of the Islamic Republic will strive to achieve the goals set by the leader of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, especially when it comes to respecting labor rights and laws in general and female workers’ rights specifically. We wish to be witness to the realization of the goals set by the Islamic Republic for the next 20 years.