Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Iran: Three major independent labour organizations sent a joint letter to the United Nations Commission of Human rights

Three major independent labour organizations- the Syndicate of Tehran and Suburb Vahed Bus Company,
the Syndicate of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company, and the Free Union of workers of Iran- have sent a joint
letter to the United Nations Commission of Human rights. They have asked the 7th session of Universal
Periodic Review of the UN to review their demands for a dignified life free from any form of suppression
and intimidation. These organizations have protested their inhumane treatment by the regime of the Islamic
Republic of Iran. In their letter, they describe the miserable economic conditions of the Iranian masses and
particularly of the Iranian working class. They have put forward several demands including:
- Unconditional freedom to establish independent worker organizations
- Unconditional freedom of assembly, strike, and protest
- Freedom of all detained or imprisoned worker-activists
- Complete equality of men and women in workplace and in all aspects of life
- Abolishment of all forms of child labours
The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) support these just demands and calls on fraternal Marxist-Leninist
Parties and Organizations, all progressive minded individuals, and all worker-activists to protest the harsh
treatment of the Iranian workers by the criminal regime of the Islamic Republic. We demand the immediate
release of prominent union leaders Mansour Ossalou, Ebrahim Madadi, Alireza Saghafi, and Ali Nejati.

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan)
February 2010

Below is the letter the three worker-organizations have sent to the UN Human Rights Commission.

TO: Human Rights Council of the United Nations
In the 7th session of the United Nations’ rotational review of human rights on 15th to 17th of February 2010
in its headquarters in Geneva, the human rights situation in Iran is being reviewed. The beginning of this
session coincides with the 4th anniversary of international solidarity with the imprisoned workers of the
Iranian Transit Company. On 15th February 2006, many international workers and members of trade
unions expressed their support of these detained workers and raised their protesting voice s against the
anti-union activities in Iran, to the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). During all the years after
the workers and union activists were detained, the IRI authorities have said that the imprisoned workers
would be released if they sign undertakings not to be involved in union activities. The security forces have
declared that despite the fact that IRI was signatory to international treaties, it was not to its national
interests to permit the formation of workers’ unions and syndicates, and anyone attempting to do just that
would be considered an enemy of the IRI and would be charged as such. In the past 30 years, despite the
main demands of the 1979 revolution, the financial conditions of the working class in Iran not only has not
improved, poverty and destitute aspects and lack of income has become rampant amongst them. The
situation is so bad that the International Labour Organization (ILO) has categorized Iran among the worst
3 countries in the world in terms of working conditions and the most basic rights of workers being denied.
The working situation of youth and women has reached catastrophic proportions. Lack of work place
safety, temporary monthly contracts, and blank contracts have become routine practice in hiring workers.
The minimum wages in Iran is four times less that poverty line. Families of millions of workers are
constantly desperate to earn daily substance because of delayed payments for their labors, and the huge
numbers of unemployed and ones in danger of becoming employed workers has created hell on earth for
them and their families and dependants. To them, the only way out of such inhuman conditions is to make
drastic charges in all levels of finances and social sectors. Those inhuman conditions have been imposed
on the Iranian workers when they were denied of all their internationally recognized rights in the past 30
years. Any strike, protest or attempt to organize has been faced with suppression, threats, unemployment
and national security related charges. Despite the clear and present danger of suppression and
unemployment, the Iranian workers filled the scenes with their protest against their backbreaking
conditions. In hundreds of production and industrial centers, they organized many gatherings to show that
they were not willing to continue to live in such inhuman living and working environments. We see some
aspects of their protests in the passed month where many of the participants in the street movements
consist of women, youth and their families. The 7th session of the United Nations’ rotational review of
human rights is being held at the time when the president and vice president of the Syndicate of Workers
of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Ossalou and Madadi, the Syndicate of workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar cane
Company Ali Nejati and Alireza Saghafy along with many other labour activists are in jail and a teacher
like Mr. Farzad Kamangar is sentenced to be hanged. Many participants of the May Day celebrations are
still awaiting court decisions and many other syndicate members are in a limbo of being suspended from
their works. We hope that demands of the Iranian workers of living honorable lives, away from any fear of
suppression and threatening environment, will be considered in your session and is this issue is placed on
the agenda of the 7th session of the United Nations’ rotational review of human rights. The most urgent
and most basic demands at the present time are:
- Abolishment of executions, immediate and unconditional release of labour activists and all other social
movement activists from jails
- Rescinding all charges against labour movement arrestees
- Immediate and unconditional freedom in the formation of labour unions without the need to have
permission from managements , compliance with all labour related international conventions, eradication
of all non-labour establishments from working environments, and to prosecute the suppressors and
deniers of workers’ human rights
- Unconditional rights to have strike, protest, and freedom of speech
- Complete equality between men and women at work and in all other aspects of social, economical, and
family lives
- Total abolishment of child labour and providing educational and medical environment for all children
The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company
Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company
Free Union of Workers in Iran

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