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Iranian Workers to Strike in Tehran TOMORROW SATURDAY 28 Jan
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Tehran bus workers under attack - update Reply with quote

cyrus wrote:
Tehran bus workers under attack - update


Hundreds of striking bus workers of the state-owned Vahed bus company are still in detention in Tehran today following the vicious attack by thousands of members of the security forces on their strike on Saturday 28th January.

Reports are coming in of more arrests last night and today, in particular in transport districts 4, 5 and 6. A gathering of workers in district 6 last night to press for the release of their jailed colleagues was attacked by the security forces, resulting in more arrests. Workers are being intimidated into signing pledges to give up strike and protest actions or risk being fired. This morning around 200 members of the security forces swarmed district 4, threatening families not to take part in any protest action.

The arrests started from Friday 27th January, the eve of the strike, during police raids on the homes of the strikers and union leaders. The management of the company and the company’s Islamic Council worked hand in hand with the security forces to help identify the workers and assist in the arrests.

Union officials said the brutality of the security forces was indescribable. The wives and children of some union executive members were also arrested, but later released. They were taken out of bed and beaten up during raids on Friday night. The beatings continued in detention. 2-year-old daughter of Yaghoub Salimi was injured in her face in the attack, when she was thrown into a waiting patrol van. Her 12-year-old elder sister, Mahdiye, described the ordeal in detail in an interview yesterday with a radio station abroad (summary transcript in a separate release). The wife of Mansoor Hayat Gheibi is still in prison.

On Saturday, as the workers arrived at the picket lines, they were rounded up. Many were verbally abused, threatened and beaten up to force them to drive the buses. Those who refused were taken away. Some buses had been moved the night before, and replacement drivers had been enlisted from among the military and mercenary Baseej militia.

The majority of the detainees are now in the high security Evin Prison, where the seven members of the union’s leadership, including the head of the executive, Mansoor Ossanlou, were already being held. This prison is notorious for being the centre for the jailing, torture and execution of thousands of political prisoners.

The strike has had the unanimous support of the 17,000 employees of the state-owned company, who have been battling the management and authorities since last year. Their demands include a decent pay increase, introduction of collectively negotiated agreements and recognition of their union. Since the arrest of their leaders, they have been fighting for their release too. The head of the union, Ossanlou, has been in jail for over five weeks.

In a letter to world labour and progressive organisations, the union executive said that in the light of what the Islamic Republic regime had done, they had no option but to continue with their fight with even greater resolve and unity. It thanked international labour and progressive organisations for their solidarity so far and appealed to them to keep up their support.

WPI has called for a powerful and immediate response to the bus workers’ appeal by all possible means.

Protest letters may be sent to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir . Please forward copies to us so that they may be brought to the attention of the workers and people of Iran.

A strike fund has been set up in aid of the bus workers and their families. Please make urgently-needed donations to any of the following bank accounts and notify us at the same. All contributions will be individually acknowledged. More bank accounts are to be announced soon. Please contact us for further info.

Account no: 49606174
Sort code: 60 07 38
Bank: NatWest

Hamid Rahimpour
Konto Nr11271061
BLZ 29050101

Konto nr: 400 11 845 429
Nordea Bank

Bahman Khani
Bank rekening: 7299850
Postbank, Eindhoven

By the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of IranCo-ordinator: Shahla Daneshfar (shahla_daneshfar@yahoo.com)

Public Relations: Bahram Soroush (b.soroush@ukonline.co.uk)

www.wpiran.org www.kargaran.org www.newchannel.tv www.rowzane.com

* Tehran - mass arrests of striking bus drivers
* Iranian bus drivers arrested after no fares action

Unfortunately many of us do not trust anything that is handled by a "Communist Party" lable. I don't know how well-liked or well known is Mr. Soroush.........
If these requests for donations were coming from INSP (Iran's National Secular Party) and their affiliate SMCCDI; I would have no problem...But just to hear the name of Communist Party, and their role in the past in our country would make me not want to contribute anything........
They used to be called Hezbeh-Tudeh........
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Peykeiran in Persian:


Families of arrested workers gather in the pouring rain outside of the Islamic court on Moalem avenue to protest arrest of their loved ones.
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Location: SantaFe, New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Blank,

Some folks will not only ride on the coatails of other's suffering, they'll try to make money off of them.

However, they may be for real, and trying to help....but I tend to share your mistrust.

Whether they can be or not, at least they have helped to call attention to the Bus workers...along with SMCCDI and others....news org's, the Dept of State...Amnesty int. , unions in several nations...

You might call it a rainbow coalition of support, in a sense.

Their plight crosses political boundaries, and that's a good thing.

Now if a million Tehrani's were to go into the streets to support them, 5 million would follow....and despite all the regime threw at them, you'd have "the storming of the Bastille" ....Iranian style.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Bus drivers stage defiant protest in Iran capital Reply with quote

Bus drivers stage defiant protest in Iran capital
Tue. 28 Feb 2006
Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Feb. 28 – Close to a hundred bus drivers and conductors, who have been released recently from Evin Prison after being locked up for taking part in union protests, gathered on Monday outside the Tehran Bus Company headquarters to protest against the government’s handling of their case.

Iranian authorities launched a heavy crackdown on the transit workers late last month, arresting large numbers of bus drivers who had decided to go on strike.

Earlier this month, a dissident worker told Iran Focus that agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the country’s secret police, had been conducting night raids into the homes of striking bus drivers and workers in Tehran, arresting more than a thousand people on political charges.

During Monday’s protest by the recently released bus drivers, they demanded that the government clarify their position and reinstate them to their previous posts.

Many of the union’s members are believed to still be behind bars. Four union activists had to appear in court on Monday.
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 2:28 pm    Post subject: May Day workers rally brings out tens of thousand and expose Reply with quote

May Day workers rally brings out tens of thousand and exposes the regime's lies

By Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi


The Islamic regime planned a May Day workers ceremony in front of the ex-U.S. embassy in Tehran, trimming the building with various signs such as ?Death to America? and ?Nuclear energy is our absolute right?.

Hasan Sadeghi, the deputy secretary of the Islamic regime?s Workers House announced: ?On May 1st, international workers day, there will be a tributary ceremony in front of the ex-U.S. embassy.?

Prior to the rally, a workers activist in Tehran commented: ?The Islamic regime is only looking to use this occasion to their advantage; it is entirely clear that they have every intention of stirring the ceremony in a direction that has nothing to do with workers. If they cared anything for the nations workers they would organize the ceremony in front of either Ahmadinejad?s offices or the Majles (the Islamic parliament?s assembly ? which is where workers protesting in Tehran have generally gathered to protest). The fact that Hasan Sadeghi has claimed that the workers issues will also be addressed is nothing more than a ruse.?

The Organization of the Defense of Women?s Rights in Iran has also issued a statement in which they have stressed: ? The fact that the regime, in an attempt to repress a massive workers day protest organized by and for the workers, has boasted that the workers have in fact already organized a ceremony in front of the ex-U.S. embassy!! We women and men workers of Iran cannot be used by the Islamic regime for their propaganda and whims and we would like to declare that what we need is jobs, shelter, food?not nuclear weapons and fuel! If they spent the money and budgets on long-range missiles and nuclear bombs on helping revive bankrupted factories, creating jobs for us workers, the situation in the country would not be as deplorable and dire?the multitudes of unemployed workers and jobless youths would not be wondering the streets aimlessly and hopelessly. The cog wheels of the factories would have been operating and together, united, we would have made Iran prosperous.?

So the real gathering of the workers took place not only in front front of the Social Security Organization in Tehran AND the the headquarters of the Greater Tehran Bus Company, many attended the regime's own rally in order to confront the regime's own authorities and to expose their hypocracy; according to reports from Tehran from people who were present at the rally between 18 to 20,000 people are said to have shown up. Workers from all across Iran made their way to Tehran to join in solidarity and though there was major security, controlled by the revolutionary guards and their basij auxiliary, the workers were not intimidated.

The workers who had shown up at the ex-U.S. embassy due the Islamic regime's threats and intimidation of the loss of their jobs were meant to be nothing more than window-dressing for the Islamic regime's own self-promotion. They had been told to chant slogans about "nuclear power is our absolute right"; instead however, in defiance of their oppressors, they began chanting slogans such as: "Incompetent labor minister, resign, resign, strike, strike...is our absolute right" or "Imprisoned worker must be freed" or "Let go of the Palestinians and start thinking about us." At this point the regime's plans for a pro-regime seeming demonstration was dashed.

Alireza Mahboob, the member of Majles (Islamic Parliament's Assembly) and the director of the regime-run organization entitled workers house whose recent embezzellment and financial scandals has made headlines even in the regime's own media, was planning on speaking at the rally but the crowd booed and jeered at him, barring him from speaking and forced him off the stage.

Agents from the ministry of intelligence and security then arrested Gholam-Reza Mirzai, member of the board of directors of the bus drivers union who had been released on March 20th. The protestors chanted: "Osanlou must be released." Mansour Osanlou, the leader of the bus drivers union who is under severe torture in the prisons of the Islamic regime was arrested on December 23rd, 2005.

The regime's anti-riot battalions that included 45 mini-buses, bullet proof cars and several motorcyles attacked the protestors from the bus drivers company, arresting 30 or more people. There were also many student supporters from various universities around Tehran who had, as planned joined the rally and some were seen being arrested along side the workers.

ILNA, the regime's own news agnecy reported: "Though the rally and march commemorating May day came to an end and many workers groups who had gathered at the regime's own ceremony on Taleghani Avenue (in front of the ex-U.S. embassy), the workers still went on chanting slogans such as: 'Faithless leaders what happened to the blood of the martyrs?' and 'Death to this life that is filled with so much shame' and 'The rule of the justice of their Imam Ali and so much injustice'."
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 3:12 pm    Post subject: Thousands March in Iran Labor Protest Reply with quote

Thousands March in Iran Labor Protest

May 01, 2006


TEHRAN, Iran, -- Thousands of Iranian workers on Monday protested the growing use of short-term employment contracts. It was the most vociferous May Day demonstration the Islamic state has seen in years.

The protest came as a reminder to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that, although embroiled in an international dispute over his country's atomic ambitions, he was elected to improve living conditions for the poorest members of society.

Short-term contracts, while better paid than regular staff contracts, allow bosses to fire workers more easily and cheaply.

"The contract worker is a slave as he lives in fear of being sacked," said Aliasghar Ghaliaf, 37, who has worked in a textile factory on a permanent contract for 19 years.

"Employers set us up against the contract workers, accusing us of not working hard enough," he added.

Paper-factory worker Masoud Cheraghi, 40, said, "Some employers even make contract workers sign a resignation form without a date on it."

The demonstrators, numbering some 10,000, called for Labor Minister Mohammad Jahromi to resign and brandished placards with bread stuck on them to symbolize their hand-to-mouth existence.

Some wore headbands saying, "The short-term contract is a slavery law." Others carried banners that read, "Labor strikes must be revived."

The protesters spread out for more than a kilometer (0.6 mile), beating their chests in a reference to religious mourning ceremonies.

Unions exist in Iran but their power is limited. Authorities quickly snuff out strikes and protests over living conditions.

Short-term contracts were introduced by the previous administration of pro-reform cleric Mohammad Khatami as part of attempts to make the state-heavy economy more efficient.

The Labor Ministry said it was looking at ways to "optimize" the contracts in favor of workers.

The Labor House, the largest labor foundation in Iran, said temporary contracts were a threat to job security.

"This is an idea that sacrifices the rights of the workforce on the pretext of boosting investment and profits," said the Labor House's legal adviser Arash Faraz.

Ahmadinejad is a religiously conservative populist who won a landslide presidential election victory in June after promising to deliver petrodollars from the world's fourth biggest oil producer to the people.

Iran's government says 10.9 percent of the workforce is unemployed, but some economic analysts say the real figure could be nearer 25 percent.
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject: Iran: Beating and arrest of workers is no way to commemorate Reply with quote


Public Statement

AI Index: MDE 13/049/2007 (Public)
News Service No: 086
1 May 2007

Iran: Beating and arrest of workers is no way to commemorate May Day

Amnesty International is concerned at the reported beating today of workers taking part in peaceful May Day demonstrations in Tehran and Sanandaj as well as the arrest in Sanandaj of Sedigh Karimi and Khaled Rasouli, members of the Union of Unemployed and Dismissed Workers (Ettehadiye Kargaran-e Bikar va Ekhraji). According to information available to Amnesty International, scores of others may have been detained in the course of the May Day demonstrations.

Amnesty International calls on the Iranian authorities to ensure that the right to peaceful assembly is upheld and to promptly charge those detained with an internationally recognisable criminal offence or to release them.

Reports indicate that a small number of peaceful demonstrators separated from the May Day demonstration permitted by the authorities in Shahid Shiroudi stadium in central Tehran and began to move towards the 7th of Tir Square. A group of around 600 workers reportedly chanted slogans against the government and parliament, as clashes between demonstrators and security forces broke out in places.

Up to 15 Intelligence Ministry officials reportedly attempted to detain Mansour Ossanlu, head of the Syndicate of Tehran and Suburbs United Bus Company at the 7th of Tir metro station, though he apparently managed to escape. Reports suggest that scores of others have been detained in connection with the May Day demonstration in Tehran.

In Sanandaj, the capital of Kordestan province in north-western Iran, at 10 am, Intelligence Ministry officials reportedly broke up a gathering of around 400 workers, injuring and arresting an unknown number of participants.

Behzad Sohrabi and Hassan Qaderi, workers rights activists, were reportedly beaten and injured while Sedigh Karimi, member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Unemployed and Dismissed Workers, and Khaled Rasouli, Deputy Director of the same organisation, were detained by Intelligence Ministry officials.

Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party, guarantees the right to peaceful assembly.

Article 3 of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials states that force may only be used when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty. The same Code of Conduct states that the use of force by law enforcement officials is an exceptional and principles of proportionality are to be respected.

In advance of a planned demonstration by teachers, scheduled to take place on 2 May, Amnesty International is calling on the authorities to protect the right of participants to assemble peacefully and to ensure that the policing of any demonstration, whether a permit has been granted or not, is in accordance with international human rights standards.

Since March teachers have held demonstrations and strikes demanding better pay and conditions in Tehran and other towns and cities which have led to the arrest of dozens of trade union activists. Up to nine teachers continue to be held apparently without charge or trial in connection with these activities.

On 28 April, a speech by Mansour Ossanlu, to be given to the Islamic Society of Students at the Faculty of Law of Tehran University was cancelled at the last minute by the university officials. He had been scheduled to discuss the problems faced by labour organisations and delivered his talk informally at gates of the university.

Mansour Ossanlu was detained between December 2005 and August 2006, and was re-arrested in November 2006 and held at Section 209 of Evin Prison until 19 December, when he was released on bail. His lawyer said on 12 December 2006 that he had been detained because of his trade union activities as well as his contacts with international organizations such as the International Labour Organization, UN and international workers’ organisations. Amnesty International believes that Mansour Ossanlu was a prisoner of conscience.

For more information, see: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130112007?open&of=ENG-2MD

Iran Press News Flash wrote:

Iran Press News Flash: Workers Day demonstrations across Iran

Special May 2nd Edition
News Compilation on
Workers Day demonstrations across Iran

Compiled reports of the May 1st workers protest in Iran
Despite the imposition of unprecedented security and overwhelming suffocation in cities across Iran, especially in TEHRAN, thousands of workers attended today's Workers Day rally; they joined Marches and carried placards with anti-regime slogans on them. Workers chanted slogans such as: Death to the tyrants/ Students, labor, unions, alliance, alliance. The Islamic regime's mercenaries fearing the expansion of the crowds ferociously attacked and beat the workers, arresting as many as they could. During the demonstration, Mansour Osanlou, the leader of greater Tehran bus drivers union who has been in and out of the Islamic regime's prisons and under torture, since December of 2005, was arrested and taken away. In other cities such as Sanandadj, protesting workers were brutally attacked by the disciplinary guards and beaten. Reports also indicate that the demonstrations across the country have met with the widespread support of the locals of each city and province.

ILNA news agency reports:

Workers from across the country came to Tehran and gathered in front of the Abu-Rayhawn workers house; they converged and got into vans and independent vehicles that had been arranged for them by various workers groups to transport them to the Shiroudi Stadium (across the street from the ex-U.S. embassy) which was the designated demonstration site. Many of the workers however formed diversified groups and marched toward the stadium.

While marching workers chanted slogans like: "Job security is our absolute right", "A steady livelihood is our inalienable right", "Elimination of temporary contracts is a must", "Incompetent Minister [of Labor] resign, resign"; the workers continuously shouted out their demands.

This report adds that the workers met with the widespread support of the general public and passersby along the way. In a show of fellowship and comradery many people joined them and marched along with them.

The slogans on the various placards being carried by the workers read: Work security must be established/Onward to the formation of workers unions/Temporary job contracts must be abolished/We demand privatization, job protection and social justice. The workers demanded that their desperate financial and legal issues where the industrial and production units are concerned, be resolved.

Thousands of workers gathered at the Shiroudi Stadium demand the resignation of the Minister of Labor

While more than four thousand workers were gathered in Shiroudi Stadium, more and more groups of workers who traveled from far and wide, across Iran joined them.

Workers chant "Death to the tyrants" and are attacked by Islamic regime's security and disciplinary forces

While senior representatives of the workers turned out for the workers day rally, they asked workers to maintain a peaceful and orderly conduct; they requested that the demonstrator refrain from insulting members of the Ministry of Labor and only demand their rightful trade claims. More than 800 workers who were on foot, marching toward Shiroudi Stadium, while approaching Tehran's Haft'eh Teer Square began chanting slogans such as "Incompetent and corrupt minister [of labor] resign, resign" and "Government, Parliament, stop talking, take action" and "Death to tyrants". At this point they were attacked by the Islamic regime's disciplinary and security guards; the clashes that ensued between the workers and the regime's guards infuriated the workers who then began chanting slogans against the guards.

Reportedly the continued clashes between workers and the guards blocked traffic in this busy Tehran thorough fairs.

Workers: " Under the so-called Islamic righteousness, so much injustice!"

Despite efforts by the Islamic regime's security and disciplinary forces to suppress the crowds, continued clusters of several hundred workers continued converging on Haft'eh Teer Square all chanting: "Security guards, shame, shame", "Under the government of Islamic righteousness, so much injustice", "Workers, labor, unity, unity" and "Workers, students, unity, unity".
Two symbolic coffins, one representing "the law" and the other "job security" covered in black shrouds were carried in funerary style by the workers.

Workers continued filing into the Shiroudi Stadium and the number of demonstrators increased steadily while a resolution was read. After the reading of the resolution workers who were present at the Stadium began to evacuate the area and headed toward the street; there, once again another group of disciplinary and security guards attacked this massive group and began ferociously beating the worker with nightsticks and batons.

Special unit disciplinary and security forces attack workers

Special unit forces and plain clothes agents had been dispatched to the various areas where the demonstrations and marches were taking place; clashed continued and dozens of people were arrested. Among the detainees there were several young women and students as well.

In the streets surrounding the Haft'eh Teer Square police minibuses and paddy wagons had been organized placed for the transport of detainees to detentions centers could been seen.

The public tried to prevent the arrest of labor leader Mansour Osanlou

According to reports, Mansour Osanlou, the director of the greater Tehran bus drivers union who had intended to attend the workers day demonstration, was attacked and arrested by the regime's officials on Tuesday morning, May 1st. He was transferred to an unknown location. Osanlou was arrested at a Tehran metro station while on his way to Shiroudi Stadium. Tehran residents who were witness to the attack fought to stop the guards from arresting Osanlou but did not succeed.

News of the suppression and arrest of more than 1500 workers from the bus drivers union and members of their families in January of 2006 caught the attention of many international labor organizations who lodged complaints against the Islamic Republic for their detention.
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