شبکه همبستگی کارگری
BM IWSN, London WC1N 3XX, England.
During the past few years there has been a massive growth in the sheer number of workers going unpaid in Iran- sometimes for as much as 32 months. Yet when workers protest against this situation they are beaten, arrested and even shot! The Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network was launched to raise these issues throughout the international labour movement. Now that the ILO has taken an interest in Iran and is preparing to open an office in Tehran, the question of what type of trade unions are going to be allowed in the country has become an immediate one.
This campaign has been initially sponsored by Jeremy Dear (General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists) in Britain, and Ahmed Manzoor, the President of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign and a member of Parliament in Pakistan. We ask you to support the campaign. Add your names to it, circulate it, and raise the model resolution provided in your trade union branch. (November 3,2003).
To Build an active solidarity campaign for independent workers' organisations in Iran
Supporters of labour rights throughout the world!
In the next few weeks the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is to open its office in Iran. It is obvious that the policy of inviting the ILO into the country has the backing of both factions of the Iranian regime; otherwise this unprecedented step would not have taken place. One of the ILO's main tasks is to help the regime in setting up "labour unions" for Iranian workers. Various debates in this context have taken place in the media during the past few years. New developments, particularly since the fact-finding visit of the ILO representatives to Iran last year (27 September to 3 October 2002); have made this the burning issue of the Iranian labour movement. This visit was followed by the ILO providing training and advice to the Iranian regime's representatives when they travelled to Geneva and further help and assistance on labour relations from countries like Jordan.
The regime and the ILO intend to amend the existing Labour Code so that new obstacles will be created in the path of the Iranian working class. "Labour unions" in a society where the workers cannot set up organisations that are independent of the regime, and also independent of all its factions, "fronts" and supporters, will represent a trap that will sink, limit, and ultimately neutralise the workers struggles for the most basic of political rights and economic gains.
The workers' main demands, which have been set out in numerous struggles during the past few years, are to set up truly independent workers' organisations, to have the right to strike and to elect genuine representatives.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network intends to launch a long-term solidarity campaign for the support of Iranian workers in achieving their just demands. We hope to organise a range of activities to help Iranian workers set up truly independent and militant workers' organisations. With the help of labour activists and progressive elements throughout the world we can build a campaign that mobilise solidarity action together with moral and financial assistance.
One of the main aims of this campaign will be to bring pressure on the regime to give access to representatives of the international labour movement to gain first-hand information on the working and living conditions of the Iranian working class to the world. A visit by a panel of trade unionists will be able to provide the workers of other countries evidence about the true nature of the ILO-regime "labour unions" and the struggles of their brothers and sisters in Iran.
We have created a separate file where you can find all the signatures as they are updated.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN)
11 October 2003
Model resolution on Iran's labour conditions and
support for the Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN)
This branch believes that:
· The Islamic regime of Iran is a brutal dictatorship that crushes any attempt at setting up independent trade unions. Beatings, unlawful arrest, routine torture and even execution are used against labour activists.
· Iranian workers are denied basic trade union rights, including the right to strike, to form independent unions and to elect genuine representatives.
· Despite the election of Khatami as President over six years ago, and a 'reformist' majority in parliament for over four years, there have been no improvements in the living and working conditions of workers.
· The imminent opening of the office of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Iran will not fulfil all of the workers' demands.
· The Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN) is one of the bodies active in mobilising international support for the daily and ongoing struggles of the Iranian working class. IWSN aims to help Iranian workers achieve all of their demands.
This branch supports:
· The struggles of Iranian workers for the right to strike, to form unions independent of the regime (and its supporters) and to elect genuine representatives.
· The resistance of Iranian workers to unpaid wages, sackings and redundancies, factory closures and privatisation.
· The opposition of Iranian workers to any reduction to the already limited protection of the Labour Code, particularly in workshops.
· The actions of labour activists to put pressure on the Iranian regime and the ILO so that all the workers' demands are met.
· The work of IWSN in defending workers who have been imprisoned for demanding their basic rights.
· The efforts of IWSN to publicise the Iranian workers' lack of trade union rights and their economic plight.