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IndustriALL tells Iranian government: Hands off May Day

27 April, 2015The Iranian government is cracking down against workers organizing May Day celebrations. IndustriALL Global Union supports the brave Iranian unions operating in face of intimidation and arrests to mark the international workers’ day.

Jamshid Ahmadi, in the European office of the Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics of Iran (UMMI), says:

Thank you IndustriALL for standing with the crucial struggle of the trade unions in Iran for workers rights and for improvement of Iranian workers’ pay and conditions of service and of course trade union rights.

The government treats all worker disputes and protests as security issues and not labour issues. This creates a justified climate of fear when workers demand unpaid wages, improved working conditions or recognition of their right to organize.

This heavy government repression keeping unions small creates a catastrophically dangerous working environment. High levels of workplace accidents and deaths occur because no mechanism exists for workers to refuse dangerous work or demand protective measures and safe conditions.

IndustriALL stands with the Iranian unions in their demands of the Iranian government:

  • Ratify and implement ILO Conventions 98 and 87 on freedom to establish trade unions, and remove of the ban on trade union activities in accordance with Article 26 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Recognize and immediately start to implement the right of Iranian workers and trade unions to organize May Day in accordance with Article 27 of the constitution
  • End all harassment, threats and persecution of trade union activists, especially on the eve of May Day
  • The release of all prisoners who have been arrested in connection with their trade union and legitimate activities

The demands are urgent as May Day approaches.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan commits support:

Consider the bravery of these Iranian trade unionists who determinedly risk arrest and punishment to organize workers. Clearly IndustriALL stands alongside them in their fight to mark May Day, and in the long-term fight to build strong unions.