Sunday, January 29, 2006
SECURITY FORCES ATTACK BUS WORKERS STRIKE IN IRAN
The answer of the theorcrats in Iran to a strike by bus workers was, not surprisingly, a violent police assault. These workers need your support.
The first article is from the NO SWEAT website. The second article is from the National Council of Resistance of Iran and discusses the issues behind the strike.
Tehran Bus Workers' Protest - Update 12, Saturday 28 January 2006
The mass assemblies and picket lines of striking bus workers in all ten transport districts of Iran’s capital, Tehran, came under violent attack by the security forces this morning.
Thousands of workers were beaten up and forced to drive the buses. Several hundred drivers and many activists and leaders of the union have been arrested, including the wives and children of four members of the union executive.
From the early hours of this morning, a huge number of security forces were deployed at the bus depots throughout Tehran to stop the strike at any cost. However, displaying enormous courage, the drivers resisted the attacks, wherever they could, and went ahead with the strike. In solidarity with the strikers, many residents of Tehran have refused to board the buses.
The union officials said the security forces employed indescribable brutality towards the workers. Arrests, harassment and raids on the homes of the activists are continuing. The Islamic regime is intent on breaking the strike and smashing the union. The union executive is deciding on the next course of action.
WPI (Worker-communist Party of Iran) appeals to all world labour organisations to support the bus workers by all possible means, including by sending strongly-worded protest letters to the Islamic regime and its embassies abroad, condemning the brutal attack on the workers and their families and demanding the immediate release of all those arrested and detained, including the head of the union, Mansoor Ossanlou, and six other members of the union executive.
Protest letters may be sent to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please forward copies of all your letters and messages to us for distribution to the workers and the public in Iran.
Please contact us on how to make urgently-needed contributions to the Bus Workers’ Strike Fund from where you are. In Sweden please make your donations to the following account and notify us at the same time:
Acct no: 400 11 845 429, Nordea Bank, Sweden
International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran. Co-ordinator: Shahla Daneshfar (email@example.com).
Iran: Call for strike by workers union at Tehran's bus company
Friday, 27 January 2006
NCRI – The workers union at Tehran's Sherkat Vahed (Tehran’s bus company) has called for an all out strike on Saturday, January 28, in protest to detention of Mr. Mansour Asalou, general secretary of the union for undeclared reasons.
In a statement issued on January 24, the union pledged its full support for the demands of the workers and stressed: "The Workers Union of Tehran's bus company will defend the rights of its members wholeheartedly and is ready to pay every price for it including greater hardship, loosing jobs and being taken for interrogations in security centers."
The statement complained that the regime has not met with the demands of the workers so far and instead Mr. Asalou was arrested on January 21 for no known reason. The union called on the workers to stop work on Saturday and hold protest gatherings around the capital until Mr. Asalou is released, the union recognized and the demands of the workers met.
Workers at Tehran’s Sherkat Vahed (Tehran’s bus company) have for years suffered from economic hardships, low wages, difficult working conditions, and lack of minimum professional bonuses as a consequence of the Iranian regime’s repressive policies. The situation has deteriorated considerably for bus drivers in recent months, especially after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has taken office as the new president of the clerical regime.
Authorities in the Iranian regime have attempted in recent months to sow division within the ranks of the company’s workers and have delayed responding to their just demands, held back on wage payments, and attempted to prevent workers’ protests and strikes.
The workers in Tehran's bus company were on strike in late December 2005 for the same demands.