Iran: 4000 brick kiln workers win pay rise after a 17-day strike!

The 4000 workers at the brick kilns of Vayghan-Shabestar, in East Azerbaijan province, have won better pay and benefits following a 17-day strike. Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network has translated two statements by the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers on this strike.

Victory of Vayghan-Shabestar brick kiln workers after a 17-day united strike

On Sunday July 5th 2009 the brick kiln workers of Vayghan-Shabestar gained an important victory after 17 days of united resistance and struggle. The achievements of this 17-day strike were: wages of 11 tomans (¢1.1) per brick, payment of all workers’ insurance and of costs for transporting the luggage of workers in these workshops, and the boss having to pay a daily bread subsidy to the doors of homes of workers living near the kilns.

Before this the workers were being paid 10 tomans a brick and the boss was refusing to set the wage rate for this year. The workers of Shabestar kilns have, this year and last year, led the way in the struggle for pay rises and every year they have won a noticeable victory. The workers and their families have had to bear great hardship in winning this victory and we have mentioned their praise-worthy resistance in previous reports.

The Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers congratulates the workers of Shabestar kilns and their families and all Iranian workers and calls on workers in other production and service sectors to organise general assemblies and set up their organisations in order to struggle for their wages and their denied rights.

Long live workers’ class solidarity.

The Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers
6 July 2009

Strike by 4000 brick kiln workers in Shabestar

According to reports received by the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers, the workers of the brick kilns in Vayghan-Shabestar went on strike on June 19th to protest against the non-payment of their wages. There are over 4000 workers in the Vayghan kilns, and after the boss refused to set their wage level, they went on an indefinite strike and elected representatives to lead the strike. In previous years the workers at the brick kilns have had to strike to raise their wages and have been successful.

According to news received the boss of the Vayghan-Shabestar kilns had earlier called on the police to help him. He had put up a notice at the office of the brickworks threatened the workers, saying that striking workers would be dealt with and that they would be sentenced to six months in jail. But the workers were determined and did not pay any attention to the threats of the boss and his agents. They began a united and powerful strike.

The Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers
19 June 2009

Translated by Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network

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