The glorious strike of the Iran Khodro workers ended in victory

Last week the workers of Iran Khodro were successful with their glorious strike which started in the assembly hall and continued in the shuttle (body) hall and ended with the press hall strike. The workers’ immediate demands were payment of their unpaid wages (productivity and last year’s production record bonuses) and to switch workers on temporary contracts to contracts of the Iran Khodro Company itself.

Iran Khodro assembly hallIran Khodro assembly hall At first the new management of Iran Khodro [1] would not pay the productivity and production record bonuses and postponed paying the wages for Farvardin [the first Iranian month, 21 March-20 April]. When faced with the workers’ protest, it paid the wages to stop the protest spreading. But the workers announced that the time for waiting was over and that to reach their demands they had decided to go on strike.

Once the managers, who had recently come to the Company, grasped the seriousness of a strike starting, 150 thousand tomans [£97,395; $154,353; €111,086] was paid into the workers’ accounts within a few hours. But not only did the strike not die down it spread from the assembly hall until it reached the shuttle hall and the production lines - they all came to a halt. It was not night-time yet when all the production record bonuses were paid into workers’ accounts. And the workers showed that if they are together, once again, they can stand up to any power.

Another victory

All the contract workers on the production lines in Iran Khodro will be leaving contractor companies’ and be signed up by Iran Khodro itself.

When on May 2 the Industry Minister, who had the mobilised forces supporting him in the Azadi [Freedom] Stadium for a Labour Day ceremony, was silent and ignored [the fact] that hundreds of workers had been arrested on International Labour Day, he was confronted by the shouts of workers calling for the lying minister to resign. They wanted an end to temporary contracts. Then the minister announced that he will keep his promise and that he had told managers under the Ministry’s authority, to give a section of workers permanent contracts before the election. After that the new [Iran Khodro] management’s notice announced the names of a few thousand workers who were getting [permanent contracts] as part of this public commitment, but the names of the press [hall workers], who are under contract from the PGI contractor, were not among them.

After this issue [came to light] the workers of the press hall brought the production lines to a standstill and gathered in front of the management office. The strike continued from the morning to the evening shifts, but before it was time for the night shift, management announced that all workers will be covered by the public commitment. And another victory for the workers of Iran Khodro was chalked up.

Iran Khodro workers
18 May 2009

Translated by Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network

For further news on the situation of the tyre workers see the special section.

[1] Iran Khodro is the largest vehicle manufacturer in the Middle East, producing over 110,000 units a year. It produces passenger cars, minibuses and buses, vans and trucks. It was formed in 1962 and currently employs around 30,000 workers.

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