Free Mansour Ossanlou now!
Recognise the Vahed trade union now!
According to the latest news received from the activists of the Vahed Bus Company Trade Union the Iranian regime is stepping up repression against the union. The regime is trying a variety of measures to suppress the new wave of trade union activity that has developed.
Following the strike by around 3000 bus drivers and other Vahed workers all the trade unionists' bank accounts have been frozen and wage payments have been blocked. At the same time the government is trying to put together dossiers made up of trumped up charges against all Vahed trade union members and especially Mansour Ossanlou, their leader.
Mansour Ossanlou's situation is of particular concern as he is currently being held in solitary confinement. He has a heart condition and urgently needs surgery on his eye (which was damaged during the attack on 9 May, when the regime's thugs assaulted him and tried to cut out his tongue).
On 31 December 2005 Dr Ghalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, promised the trade union members that he will do everything in his power to free Mr Ossanlou and to resolve the workers' all the other problems. The trade union members gave him their 'final ultimatum' at this meeting. They are also trying to have a meeting with Mr Mortazavi, the judge who authorised the arrests on 22 December 2005.
Members of the Steering Committee of the Vahed Bus Company of Tehran and Suburbs have made it clear that if these efforts remain fruitless then the union will go back on strike.
We strongly urge all trade unionists, labour activists and defenders of labour and human rights to condemn these anti-trade union and anti-working class acts by the Iranian authorities who have yet again targeted this pioneering trade union. We ask you to send protest emails, faxes or letters to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (with copies to Guy Ryder of the ICFTU, Juan Sovamia of the ILO and IWSN) demanding that the trumped up charges against the Vahed trade unionists be dropped, that Mansour Ossanlou is released immediately and that the Vahed trade union be recognised.
Workers' Action Committee (Iran) and Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
2 January 2006
Please send your protest emails, faxes or letters to:
Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Islamic Republic of Iran.
Please send a copy of your protest letters to:
Mr Guy Ryder
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
5 Boulevard du Roi Albert II, Bte 1
Fax: +32 (0)2 201 5815
Mr Juan Somavia
International Labour Organization (ILO)
International Labour Office
4, route des Morillons
CH-1211 Geneva 22
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
London WC1N 3XX.