From the TUC

ACT NOW! Iranian regime persecutes trade unionists … again!

09 May 2015, By

Last week, labour activists in Iran once again found themselves the target of persecution for exercising their legal and rightful trade union activities. The incidents include the reported arrest and imprisonment of Davood Razavi and Ebrahim Madadi from ITF affiliate, the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. The global transport workers’ union has protested to the Iranian government along with global union confederation the ITUC, and you should join their e-protest to the Iranian government.

The reasons for the arrests are not known, but the proximity to May Day, when the regime has cracked down on trade unionists exercising their right to freedom of assembly before, suggests that this is another attempt by the Iranian authorities to deter workers from joining trade unions and exercising their rights to bargain collectively and strike. The Iranian government, although it is best known for its religious fanaticism, as often seems committed mostly to protecting rich businessmen’s profits, including those of the Revolutionary Guard, which runs several exploitative but profitable businesses.

Before May Day, the IndustriALL global union, which has close links with Iranian metal workers, urged the government not to crack down on this year’s May Day celebrations, and the TUC and British unions joined Turkish unions in signing a CODIR statement that calls on the government to:

  • release immediately all trade unionists imprisoned for their trade union activities;
  • halt the sacking of trade unionists and workers’ activists on the basis of their trade union activities and reinstate those who have lost their jobs for campaigning for workers’ rights;
  • remove all obstacles preventing Iranian workers from forming independent trade unions and joining trade unions in accordance with ILO Conventions 87 (freedom of association) and 98 (collective bargaining); and
  • lift the ban on the right of workers to commemorate and celebrate May Day, organise May Day events and mark 1 May as a national holiday.

The Iranian trade unionists in jail include Ali-Reza Hashemi (General Secretary, Teachers’ Association), Rassoul Bodaghi (Teachers’ Association), Mahmood Bagheri (Teachers’ Association), Mohammad Davari (Teachers’ Association), Abdulreza Ghanabri (Teachers’ Association), Shahrokh Zamani (Painters’ and Decorators’ Union), Behnam Ebrahimdzadeh (Painters’ and Decorators’ Union), Mohammad Jarrahi (Painters’ and Decorators’ Union), Mahmoud Salehi (Kurdish trade unionist), and now, of course, Ebrahim Madadi and Davoud Razavi ( the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company- Sherkat-e Vahed).