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Urgent request to support workers in Iran
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posted May 23, 2003 08:15
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 Workersí International Solidarity!
Worker-communist Party of Iran
May 18, 2003
Behshahr textile workers in Iran are on hunger strike and have occupied factory
The Behshahr textile workers who had organised a sit-in and occupied the textile factory on Saturday May 17, 2003 have begun a hunger strike since 15 May.
The workers have declared that they will continue their strike until their legitimate demands are fully met and will not allow employers or government officials to enter the factory. According to news received by the Worker-communist Party of Iran, the people of Behshahr are expressing their full support for the striking workers. The city is on the edge as the workers are owed more than 5 billion Tomans (nearly 36 million pounds). Officials of the Islamic regime of Iran have given assurances that unpaid wages would be paid on numerous occasions but the only thing that the Islamic regime has actually delivered is the suppression of the workers. A government official who announced news of the strike and stated that 'the workers are exerting psychological and emotional pressure on the government' and that 'some who have a problem are trying to upset the life of the cityí attempted to threaten the striking workers.
It must be said that the Behshahr textile workers have not been paid for 27 months; of the billions of Tomans owed to the workers, the regime has only agreed to pay £150,000 for the time being and the rest when the land belonging to the factory is sold in the distant future. The Behshahr textile factory employs more than 2000 workers.
The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls on all workers and the progressive people to support the textile workers of Behshahr by any means possible. Pass resolutions; send financial support as well as messages of solidarity to the striking workers and their families. Other workers and the people of Behshahr should assemble at the gate of the factory and put pressure on the government, galvanise huge support for the textile workers and help the workers so that they do not have to continue with their hunger strike. We must force the Islamic regime to retreat. Non-payment of the workers' wages is a criminal offence. All of the unpaid wages plus compensation must be paid at once!
Worker-communist party of Iran
[This message has been edited by AKosha (edited May 23, 2003).]
All times are PT (US)
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