Iranian workers brought to ruin by targeted subsidies

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Action IWSN

Seven Iranian labour organisations: workers brought to ruin by targeted subsidies

On the eve of International Labour Day, seven major labour organisations in Iran issued a joint statement demanding pay rises and the right to strike and form independent labour organisationsSubsidy cuts, inflation and unemployment

In the introduction to their 14-point joint statement the seven organisations said that “the plan for targeting subsidies is destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions of working class families even more than before, and no one has the right to express a free opinion on this issue.”

They said that they will not tolerate “a society in which a minority owns huge wealth and capital and the majority does not have its daily bread” and that the government’s ” targeted subsidies’ plan” had made Iranian workers’ living conditions intolerable. They described the 9 per cent increase in the minimum wage as “derisory” (since official, and deliberately underestimated, inflation rate is 14 per cent).

Noting the rising unemployment figures, they stated: “With soaring increase in energy prices and factory closures, every day hundreds and thousands of workers join the ranks of the unemployed millions, and at the same time, workers’ insurance has been changed to workers’ detriment …”.

Independent labour organisations and strikes
The first point of the statement raises the issue of many basic labour rights that the Iranian regime does not recognise: “The unconditional freedom to form independent labour organisations, strike, protest, march, freedom of parties, assembly and freedom of speech and press are our absolute rights …” and called for the dismantling of state institutions that interfere in workers’ lives.

Other demands of the labour organisations included scrapping the targeted subsidies’ plan, minimum wage increases proportional to the current year’s costs and by electing the genuine workers’ representatives.

The organisations also called for united action by workers across Iran: “While expressing our disgust with the present situation we ask everyone to pose their needs and demands in unity throughout the country.”

The joint statement was signed by the following labour organisations: Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company Workers’ Trade Union, Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers, Re-launching Committee of the Trade Union of Painters and Decorators, Re-launching Committee of the Trade Union of Metal and Mechanical Workers, Labour Rights Defence Association, Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Trade Union, Pursuit Committee for the Formation of Labour Organisations and Co-ordination Committee for the Formation of Labour Organisations.

Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
1 May 2011

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