Amnesty and TUC call for Iranian union freedom
The TUC has joined a global campaign launched by Amnesty International to focus on other Iranian trade unionists now that Mansour Ossanloo and Ebrahim Madadi are out of jail. Building on their release over the last twelve months, we are now encouraging trade unionists to write to the Iranian authorities demanding freedom for Reza Shahabi and Zabihollah Bagheri.
Reza Shahabi, like Mansour and Ebrahim, comes from the Tehran bus workers’ union. He is currently serving a six-year jail sentence on vague charges, but Amnesty maintain he is in prison solely for his peaceful trade union activities. On top of this, Reza is in poor health and not receiving appropriate medical care.
Zabihollah, on the other hand, is a steelworker who was arrested on or about 24 April as he left the Moharakeh Steel Plant in Estahan. His whereabouts are unclear and his family and lawyer have not been granted access to him.
These are not the only trade unionists in jail in Iran, where the regime is backing employers who don’t want independent trade unionists interfering in their exploitation of the workforce – it’s got little to do with religion. So as well as protesting about individual cases, the TUC is working with the International Trade Union Confederaton to raise Iran’s failure to comply with ILO core conventions on freedom of association at this summer’s International Labour Conference.
But in the meantime, please write to the Iranian authorities to help our fellow trade unionists in Iran. Because stronger trade unionists anywhere mean stronger trade unionists everywhere.