On the Occasion of the First of May


On the Occasion of the First of May

                                  The Need for Solidarity between Trade Unions

Dear Friends,

First of all, we congratulate you on the First of May, the international day of workers’ solidarity. This day is an important component in the connection between the left and the international workers’ movement. We re-affirm our solidarity with you and wish you progress in your struggle against neoliberalism which is attacking the rights acquired by the international workers’ movement. We hope that in these difficult circumstances, workers’ unions and organisations in different countries, by communicating and exchanging their experiences in the struggle, can defend their rights more efficiently and come up with more useful ways of pushing back against this attack.

Workers and wage earners in Iran are living through very difficult times. The unemployment rate is rising. According to official reports, within the last year the unemployment rate has grown by 1.5% to 13%. According to reports from independent economists, this figure could be up to 20%. More than 90% of the workers are working without legal protection or job security. Wages of the majority of manual workers and of most wage earners generally are below the poverty line. The Islamic Republic suppresses any collective demand for wage increases, punishes those who make demands and continues to freeze wages below the poverty line. Workers who protest or go on strike are dismissed or even imprisoned. At the same time, hundreds of trade union activists have lost their jobs or been prosecuted for organising and participating in strikes and protesting against the anti-worker policies of the Rouhani Government. In some cases, by order of Government or judicial officials, workers have been whipped like slaves. Some union activists, having completed their prison sentences, have been tried again on the basis of fabricated evidence, and sentenced to long prison sentences.

Dear friends, you understand that in the era of global struggle against neoliberal aggression and its catastrophic consequences, the rights of trade unions should be standardised worldwide and Governments and employers should be obliged to respect them. To reach this goal, the co-operation and solidarity of workers from different countries are needed. For this reason, international solidarity in the workers’ movement is today becoming more and more important for the movement.

Many of you who are union members, have seen this necessity and have been reacting for years against the suppression of worker activists and their unions effectively and in a timely fashion. We appreciate your solidarity. We hope you continue your support until Iranian workers and wage earners achieve their trade union and political rights. We hope that, in the events you are holding on the occasion of the First of May, you will stand up for the trade union rights of Iranian workers, that, in harmony with Iranian workers’ organisations, you will condemn the infringement of Iranian workers’ rights and that, by appropriate means, you will put pressure on the Iranian Government to observe the International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 and 98, to eliminate hurdles against trade union activities, to free detained workers and to end the oppression of worker activists.

Best wishes,

- Co-ordination Board of the Union of People’s Fadaian of Iran (Left Unity Supporters)

- Political-Executive Board of The Organization of Iranian People’s Fadaian – Majority (OIPFM) 

- Left Activists

May 1, 2017

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