Statements of Support Continue on the International Workers Day
Ten independent workers organizations in Iran issued a joint statement on the occasion of the international workers day. In addition to the joint statement by the 10 organizations, other workers groups and individuals have issued statements and declared their support for the workers demands.
Tehran and Municipality Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate, Haft Tapeh Sugar Refinery Workers Syndicate, Free Assembly of Iranian Workers, Re-inauguration board of Metal and Mechanical Syndicate, Re-inauguration board of Painting Workers Syndicate, Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers Trade Society, Pursuing Committee for the Formation of Free Workers Organizations, Coordination Committee for support of the Formation of Workers Organizations, Support Society for Laid off and Unemployed Workers in Saghez, and Women’s Council, in their joint statement, enumerating the workers demands, condemned the suppression of workers and general populace since last May day in Iran.
Network of Iranian Labor Associations, NILA, in an statement emphasized the importance of the labor movement and its historical role in Iranian democratic movement at large and urged the Green Movement to support the workers demands presented.
Iranian Writers Center, greeting the workers day, emphasized the workers’ rights to free and independent organizations and free celebration of the workers holiday. The center further called for the release of all the labor activists imprisoned for pursuing their rights.
A group of Iran Khodro auto workers in their statement emphasized free speech and free assembly as workers’ inalienable rights and condemned the repression and the police state ruling the country. They further enumerated workers demands on this May day.
Iranian Workers Rights Supporters Center also stated the demands of the workers and condemned the supporters of neo-liberal policies as untrue defenders of workers rights. They stressed that it is only through the workers own power with independent organization and struggle that the workers demands will be realized.
Free Assembly of Iranian Workers, one of the independent labor organizations signing the joint statement, in a separate message, called on its members and all the workers throughout Iran to participate in May day activities and stress their right to celebration of the day and protest all the envisages of injustice and inequality.
Human Rights Activists in Iran, in their statement, provided a historyof the labor movement in Iran and the difficult situation facing labor at present. The activists mention that “the official news of at least 80 factory and shops not paying the workers wages in time resulting in at least 74 strike actions by the workers is an only partial indication of the present crisis”. The activists, calling for end to the suppression of the workers rights, have declared their resolve and support for realizing these rights.
Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the leader of the Green Movement opposition, in avideo statement congratulating the workers and teachers on the workers and teachers days and enumerating the difficulties in the country, said that “they (workers and teachers - ILR) want the progress of the country … They want freedom as freedom allows them to form their trade and political organizations… They are seeking justice as justice in living conditions and economy and distribution of wealth allows them to serve better, create wealth, defend the economy of the country, and through their activities in industry and market defend the independence of the country and through distribution of wealth support progressive ideas in the country.” He said that the workers and teachers issues are the issues of the nation at large. He saw implementation of the constitution clauses as a way out of the current impasse and realizing the workers and teachers demands.
Mehdi Karroubi, another Green opposition leader, separately, issued an statement on the occasion of the international workers day and the teachers day.
Teachers organizations have called for a hunger strike from May 2 to May 8 protesting the incarceration of teacher activists and their long and some death sentences. Many student organizations inside and outside Iran have supported the strike and are beginning their strikes on May1st to coincide with the international workers day. Some have also issued statements supporting the workers demands. Among these are Arak Free University which is located in the industrial provincial city of Arak which has been site of numerous workers protests. Tehran Free University central branch students have declared their start of the hunger strike at 12:00 noon on May 1.
In addition, a group of political prisoners in a statement have supported the workers demands and have declared their one day hunger strike on May1st in solidarity with workers, teachers, and liberation movement in Iran and have called on all, especially the teachers, students, government employees, and workers to join and protest during this day.
Several labor political parties and organizations have also issued communiques on the occasion of the international labor day.