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Author Topic:   Urgent request to support workers in Iran
posted May 23, 2003 08:06     Click Here to See the Profile for AKosha     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Urgent request to support workers in Iran

Textile workers in north of Iran have begun a hunger strike

They need your support!

To labour organisations, political parties and organisations world-wide:

Around one million workers in various cities of Iran have not been paid for months and some have not been paid for several years. According to statistics by the Islamic regime of Iran and government officials, which are extremely conservative, wages in Iran are well below the poverty line. Despite this, denying workers even such meagre pay has become the norm. As far as we are concerned this is a crime against workers and their families. One can only imagine the state of working class families. Employers deny workers their wages under various pretexts while the Islamic regime not only does not take any responsibility towards them but also suppresses labour protests. Despite this, not one day passes without news of strikes and labour protests in forms of sit-ins and road blockages and so on even with the absence of the freedom to organise or strike and the Islamic Republic of Iran's daily suppression.

For the past few months, textile workers in Behshahr, northern Iran have been protesting the non-payment of their wages for 27 months. The protests have been widespread. In recent weeks, workers and their families and workers from other industries as well the public joined in the protest and lent their support. On April 16, more than 25 thousand people joined the march in the city of Behshahr in support of the textile workers. The Islamic regime's police and security forces used truncheons and tear gas to attack the marchers. Several workers were arrested and martial law was declared in the city. Nonetheless, the workers announced that they would not give in and would continue their protests in order to achieve their rightful demands.

As of 15 May 2003, the textile workers have gone on hunger strike. Today, Sunday May 18, is the third day of the strike; public support for the strikers is solid.

2000 textile workers in the city of Behshahr and the rest of the workers in Iran urgently need the support of labour and progressive organisations all over the world. Support the workers. Write letters of support, condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran or any use other means that you see fit to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to pay all unpaid wages of the Behshahr workers and one million workers in Iran, to recognise and pay unemployment benefits, to immediately increase the minimum wage, to recognise freedom of assembly, organisation and strike. Your international support will have a direct impact on the morale of the striking workers and will add and deepen the international solidarity of the workers as well as forcing the Islamic Republic of Iran to retreat.

Long Live Workers’ International Solidarity!

Asqar Karimi

Worker-communist Party of Iran

May 18, 2003

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