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Author Topic:   Iran: International Day of Trade Union Action, Wednesday 15 February 2006
AKosha
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posted February 10, 2006 11:48     Click Here to See the Profile for AKosha     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Dear friends,
Iran: International Day of Trade Union Action, Wednesday 15 February 2006
Further to our message on 1 February concerning continuing repression against the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company ("Sherkat-e Vahed" company), an in particular, the arrests of hundreds of participants in the strike of 28 January, we are now writing to confirm that we are requesting all affiliates and Global Union Federations to join in a International Day of Trade Union Action on Iran on Wednesday 15 February 2006. This call is issued on behalf of Global Unions (representing the Global Union Federations, the ICFTU and the TUAC-OECD).
According to our latest information, up to 1300 workers may be detained in Tehran?s Evin Prison, which is overflowing with detained union members and activists. Unconfirmed reports suggest at least some of those detained have gone on hunger strike. The Iranian government, Tehran City authorities and the Sherkat-e Vahed management are actively trying to impose an information blackout on the union?s actions. Relatives of our sources on the spot have again been intimidated and threatened not to provide information about these events.
Many trade union organisations in various part of the world have already protested to the Iranian government about these events and we would like to thank them for their action. Rallies with important union participation have already been held in front of Iran?s embassies in Canada and the United Kingdom (photos are available on request). It is however important to keep up this mobilisation and make the 15 February Day of Action a resounding success. We encourage union organisations in all countries hosting an Iranian embassy to ask for an appointment with the Ambassador and/or hold a protest rally outside the embassy?s premises. (A new list of Iran?s embassies around the world is attached to this message). If useful, you may wish to present the embassy with your own version of the model-letter included in our earlier message.
If there is no Iranian embassy in your country, you may consider visiting your Ministry/Office of Foreign Affairs to raise your concern; holding a press conference; organizing a petition, or taking any other action which you consider appropriate.
Here are some slogans which you may consider using on 15 February:
Recognise trade union rights in Iran!
Release Mansour Osanloo and all detained Sharket-e Vahed unionists!
Sharket-e Vahed Management respect union rights!
Collective agreement at Sharket-e Vahed Now!
Pay wage arrears to Vahed?s unionists now!
n order to encourage our Iranian brothers and sisters in this dispute, we would like to use our webpage to update the worldwide events. We would appreciate it very much if you could email us your report of the protest day (along with a photograph) at your earliest convenience. Any other information related to your organisation?s action in this case will also be much appreciated.
Please inform us as soon as possible about your organisation?s intentions with respect to the 15 February Day of Action.
With best regards,
ICFTU Department of Trade Union Rights
-------------------
Chers et chères camarades,
Iran: Journée internationale d?action syndicale, mercredi 15 février 2006
Comme suite à notre message du 1er février concernant la persistance de la répression à l?encontre du Syndicat des travailleurs de la régie des bus de Téhéran et de sa banlieue (Sherkat-e-Vahed), et plus particulièrement les arrestations de centaines de participants à la grève du 28 janvier, nous vous écrivons aujourd?hui pour confirmer que nous demandons à toutes les affiliées et aux Fédérations syndicales internationales de participer à une Journée internationale d?action syndicale relative à l?Iran le mercredi 15 février 2006. Cet appel émane conjointement du groupement Global Unions (représentant les Fédérations syndicales internationales, la CISL et la TUAC-OCDE).
Selon notre toute dernière information, jusqu?à 1300 travailleurs pourraient être détenus à la prison d?Evin à Téhéran, qui déborde de membres et militants syndicaux détenus. Des rapports non confirmés suggèrent que certains de ces détenus ont entamé une grève de la faim. Le gouvernement iranien, les autorités de la ville de Téhéran et la direction de Sherkat-e-Vahed essaient activement d?imposer un black out de l?information sur les actions du syndicat. Des proches de nos sources sur place ont à nouveau été intimidés et enjoints de ne pas fournir d?informations sur ces événements.
De nombreuses organisations syndicales dans différentes parties du monde ont déjà protesté auprès du gouvernement iranien à propos de ces événements et nous voudrions les remercier de leur action. Des rassemblements comptant une importante participation syndicale se sont déjà tenus devant les ambassades d?Iran au Canada et au Royaume-Uni (photos disponibles sur demande). Il est cependant important que cette mobilisation ne faiblisse pas et il nous devons faire de la journée d?action du 15 février un succès retentissant. Nous encourageons les organisations syndicales dans tous les pays où se trouve une ambassade iranienne à demander une entrevue avec l?ambassadeur et/ou à organiser un rassemblement pour protester devant les locaux de l?ambassade. (Une nouvelle liste des ambassades iraniennes dans le monde est jointe à ce message). Vous pourriez juger utile de remettre à l?ambassade votre propre version du modèle de lettre inclus dans notre message antérieur.
S?il n?y a pas d?ambassade iranienne dans votre pays, vous pourriez envisager d?effectuer une visite au Ministère/Département des Affaires étrangères de votre pays pour faire part de votre préoccupation; de tenir une conférence de presse; d?organiser une pétition; ou de prendre toute autre action que vous jugerez appropriée.
Voici quelques-uns des slogans que vous pourriez utiliser le 15 février :
Reconnaissez les droits syndicaux en Iran !
Libérez Mansour Osanloo et tous les syndicalistes détenus de Sharket-e Vahed !
Respect des droits syndicaux par la direction de Sharket-e Vahed!
Une convention collective chez Sharket-e Vahed Maintenant!
Payez les arriérés de salaire aux syndicalistes de Vahed Maintenant !
Pour encourager nos camarades iraniens dans ce confit du travail, nous aimerions utiliser notre site web pour faire une mise à jour des événements mondiaux. Nous vous saurions gré de nous envoyer par courrier électronique votre rapport de la journée de protestation (ainsi qu?une photo) à votre plus prompte convenance. Toutes autres informations concernant l?action de votre organisation à cet égard seront également fort appréciées.
Merci de nous informer le plus rapidement possible des intentions de votre organisation quant à la Journée d?action du 15 février.
Nous vous prions d?agréer, chers et chères camarades, l?expression de nos salutations bien fraternelles.
Département des droits syndicaux de la CISL
-----------------
Estimados compañeros y compañeras:
Irán: Día Internacional de Acción Sindical, Miércoles 15 de febrero de 2006
Como continuación a nuestro mensaje del 1 de febrero respecto a la continua represión contra el Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Empresa de Autobuses de Teherán y Suburbios ("Sherkat-e Vahed"), y en particular la detención de cientos de participantes en la huelga convocada el 28 de enero, mediante la presente quisiéramos confirmarles que estamos pidiendo a todas las afiliadas y a las Federaciones Sindicales Internacionales que se sumen a nosotros en un Día Internacional de Acción Sindical sobre Irán, el miércoles 15 de febrero de 2006. Este llamamiento lo realiza conjuntamente la Agrupación Global Unions (integrada por las Federaciones Sindicales Internacionales, la CIOSL y TUAC-OCDE).
Según la información más reciente de que disponemos, hasta 1.300 trabajadores podrían permanecer recluidos en la Prisión Evin de Teherán, que se encuentra abarrotada con activistas y miembros de los sindicatos. Informes no confirmados indican que al menos algunos de los detenidos iniciaron una huelga de hambre. El gobierno iraní, las autoridades de la ciudad de Teherán y la dirección de la empresa Sherkat-e Vahed están haciendo todo lo posible para censurar cualquier información sobre las acciones sindicales. Se ha vuelto a intimidar y a amenazar a los familiares de nuestras fuentes in situ para que no faciliten información alguna sobre estos eventos.
Numerosas organizaciones sindicales de distintos puntos del mundo han manifestado ya su protesta al gobierno iraní en relación con estos hechos, y quisiéramos agradecerles sus acciones. Se han organizado concentraciones con una importante participación sindical frente a las embajadas de Irán en Canadá y el Reino Unido (fotos disponibles a petición). Pero es muy importante mantener las movilizaciones y lograr que el Día de Acción el 15 de febrero sea un éxito absoluto. Alentamos a las organizaciones sindicales en todos los países donde haya una embajada iraní que soliciten una reunión con el Embajador y/o organicen una concentración de protesta frente a la embajada (adjuntamos al presente mensaje una lista actualizada de las embajadas de Irán en todo el mundo). Si lo creen conveniente, podrían presentar a la embajada su propia versión de la carta modelo incluida en nuestro mensaje anterior.
De no haber una embajada iraní en su país, podrían considerar una visita al Ministerio/Oficina de Asuntos Exteriores de su país para manifestar su preocupación; convocar una conferencia de prensa; organizar una petición; o emprender cualquier otra acción que juzguen apropiada.
A continuación figuran algunos eslóganes que podrían usar el 15 de febrero:
Reconocimiento de los derechos sindicales en Irán
Libertad para Mansour Osanloo y todos los sindicalistas de Sharket-e Vahed detenidos
La dirección de Sharket-e Vahed debe respetar los derechos sindicales
Convenio colectivo en Sharket-e Vahed
Exigimos el pago de los atrasos salariales a los sindicalistas de Vahed
Para animar a nuestros compañeros y compañeras de Irán en esta disputa, quisiéramos hacer uso de nuestra página web para informar puntualmente sobre los eventos organizados en todo el mundo. Agradeceríamos por tanto que nos remitan por e-mail sus informes sobre las acciones emprendidas en el día de acción (incluyendo fotos) tan pronto como les sea posible. Cualquier otra información relacionada con acciones de su organización en relación con este caso también sería de agradecer.
Les rogamos nos informen lo antes posible sobre las actividades que tiene previsto realizar su organización para el Día de Acción el 15 de febrero.
Saludos fraternales,
Departamento de Derechos Sindicales de la CIOSL
http://www.icftu.org/

[This message has been edited by AKosha (edited February 10, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by AKosha (edited February 10, 2006).]

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AKosha
Member
posted February 10, 2006 11:59     Click Here to See the Profile for AKosha     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Several hundred unionists and members of their family arrested at Sherkate Vahed

Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadjinejad,
President of the Republic
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: + 98-21-6648.06.65 or: + 98 21 649 5880

TUR/JS 30 January 2006

Dear Mr. President,

Several hundred unionists and members of their family arrested at Sherkate Vahed (Tehran Bus Company)

I have written to you repeatedly concerning the heavy repression of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (“Sherkate Vahed”) (the Syndicate). Although I have not yet received any single reply to my previous letters, I now have to write you again to protest in the strongest possible terms against the latest wave of arrests, which has affected several hundred Sherkate Vahed unionists and their relatives, as well as against the arrest of eight members of the Syndicate’s Executive Board, and the continued detention of its leader, our colleague Mansour Osanloo.

The ICFTU has been informed that on 24 January the Syndicate called for strike action to take place on 28 January, in order to demand the release of Mansour Osanloo, recognition of the union, and the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement at the bus company.

On 25 January members of the Executive Board held a meeting with the CEO of Vahed Bus Company, Mr. Mohammad Ahmadi Bafandeh, who asked them not to give interviews to foreign press reporters, as it could “hurt the government”. Furthermore, he informed them that their leader, Mr. Osanloo, would not be released because the government wanted to “show that the arrest was right in the first place” (!). The Board members of the Syndicate informed him of their demands, and of their intent to go ahead with the strike if their demands were not met, despite the fact that eight among them had been summoned to appear in court the following day.

On 26 January Ebrahim Madadi, the Deputy Director of the Syndicate, Abbas Najand Koodaki, Naser Gholami, Davood Rezaei, Ali Zadeh Hosseini, Saeed Torabian, Mansoor Hayat-Gheibi, and Abdulreza Tarazi, all members of the Syndicate’s Executive Board, went to the Revolutionary Court. They never returned and, according to our information, are now detained in Evin Prison, where Mansour Osanloo is still being held in a high security section, without access to a lawyer or medical care, despite his poor health condition. Moreover, his wife has only been allowed to visit him twice, briefly, during his long detention.

Despite these arrests, and the arrest of five more Vahed workers, Mahmood Hazhirie, Naser Gholami, Khani, Gholam Khosh Maram and Moradvand, the Syndicate went ahead with the strike on 28 January. Security forces used tear gas, batons and even threatened to shoot the strikers in order to crush the strike. Police arrested several hundred union members during the strike, and several were arrested at their homes. The ICFTU has received reports of figures varying from 400 to 1300 arrested workers. Whatever the exact number, several hundred detentions have undoubtedly taken place, which is in any event a completely disproportionate and unacceptable response to legitimate industrial action.

Many workers were forced by security forces to continue work, while many others were beaten up. About 30 workers reportedly sustained serious injuries and required medical attention. Among those arrested are the majority of the Syndicate’s Executive Board members. In some cases, their relatives (wives and children) were also arrested. The wife and two daughters of Mr. Salimi, a substitute member of the Executive Board, were brutally arrested at home and were only released on condition that he surrender to the authorities. All those detained have reportedly been transferred to Evin Prison for interrogation. Some of the arrested workers went on hunger strike.

During the strike, Government and City officials deployed extra busses and drivers to prevent the strike from halting traffic and, along with management, they stated that all the arrested workers would be fired. The Mayor of Tehran, Mr. Ghalibaf, a former top military official, who had previously made some promises to the Syndicate (all unfulfilled), has now reportedly told journalists that the Syndicate was “illegal”. There were also reports that arrested workers were forced to sign a statement of penitence in order to keep their job.

The ICFTU has been informed that a minority of arrested workers and all the detained relatives have now been released. However, several hundred workers are still held in Evin Prison.

The ICFTU is very concerned at this escalation of the conflict at the Vahed Bus Company, and believes that violent repression of legitimate workers’ demands is totally unacceptable. Proper social dialogue - starting with recognition of the union and collective bargaining in good faith - is the only means to ensure lasting social peace.

We further remain concerned that contacts with foreign reporters are discouraged, and that management and authorities try to prevent workers from making their demands publicly known and calling for international solidarity, which are fundamental trade union rights.

The continued harassment of Syndicate leaders and members as well as the severe sentences handed down last year in the Saqez trials indicate that the Government of Iran is still not prepared to meet its international obligations as a member of the ILO, in particular with respect to the principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining. However, I urge you once more to issue appropriate instructions to your country’s judicial and security authorities to immediately release Mr. Mansour Osanloo, as well as the many hundred other unionists who are now detained, and to drop all charges against labour activists and quash sentences against the Saqez union activists.

The severe repression of trade unionists calling for legitimate workers’ rights has already deeply tarnished the image of your country among the international trade union community. We will continue to monitor respect of fundamental workers’ rights in Iran. And we will also bring the above violations of core labour standards to the attention of the ILO.

In the meantime, I look forward to your immediate and decisive action in these matters.


Yours sincerely

General Secretary

Copies :

- Mr. Juan Somavia, Director General, International Labour Office, Geneva
- Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in Geneva
- Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Brussels http://www.icftu.org/list.asp?Type=ALL&Order=Date&Language=EN&STEXT=iran

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