Six members of Tehran’s bus workers’ union executive arrested as workers call for a strike
As we reported, following the call for a strike for this Saturday (28 Jan), six members of the executive of the bus workers’ union were summoned to appear before court on Thursday. The six arrived at the court and were interrogated until this evening. However, they were then detained.
Including Mansoor Ossanlou, the head of the union, who has been in prison for over a month, a total of 7 members of the executive of the bus workers’ union are now in prison. They are:
Mansoor Ossanlou, Ebrahim Madadi, Davoud Razavi, Saeed Torabian, Mansoor Hayat Gheibi, Abdolreza Tarazi and Ali Zadeh Hossein
Several other members of the union executive have also been summoned, but they have refused to comply.
Meanwhile in an interview this evening with the state broadcaster IRNA, Tehran’s Mayor Ghalibaf described the bus workers’ union as ‘illegal’, and indirectly threatened to prevent the strike from taking place. The state radio too described the workers as ‘counter-revolutionaries’ and ‘saboteurs’. The government is also spreading rumours that 10,000 vigilante state-hired mob known as Baseej are preparing to break the strike.
These workers are in prison because they have dared to set up a union to unite the workers and defend their rights. Their crime is to demand decent pay, reinstatement of sacked workers and introduction of collectively negotiated contracts.
The regime is preparing for a major show-down. It is bent on stopping the strike through arrests, intimidation and threats. It is aiming to smash the workers’ union.
However, the morale and unity among the 17,000 employees of the state-owned Vahed Bus Company is very high. They have vowed to go ahead with their strike this Saturday until the release of their jailed colleagues, recognition of their union and the meeting of all their demands. Throughout their protest, they have enjoyed the warm backing of the residents of the capital, workers in many other sectors and a large number of labour organisations around the world.
The Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI) has called on the people of Tehran, the workers in all sectors, the students, and labour and progressive organisations around the world to lend their unreserved support to the bus workers at this crucial stage of their struggle. International solidarity is vital for the success of the protest.
Shahla Daneshfar, Co-ordinator of the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, said:
“At stake is not only the fate of the bus workers, their demands and their union, but the fundamental, universally fought-for and recognised right of all workers to freely organise and strike; rights for which generations of workers have fought bitterly and even given up their lives. The brave bus workers of Tehran should not be left alone. They deserve the wholehearted support of the world working class and progressive humanity”.
Show your support for the bus workers by publishing the news of the protest, by protesting at the anti-labour policies of the regime in Iran in the strongest possible terms, by calling for the immediate release of all the jailed activists and by donating to the workers’ strike fund.
Protest letters may be sent to the various authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the President at [email protected] .
Please forward copies of your letters, messages and bulletins to us for distribution to the workers and the public in Iran.
Please make your donations to Tehran Bus Workers’ Strike Fund at the bank account below and notify us at the same time:
Acct no: 400 11 845 429
Nordea Bank, Sweden
All contributions will be immediately acknowledged.
International Labour Solidarity Committee of the
Worker-communist Party of Iran
Co-ordinator: Shahla Daneshfar ([email protected])
Public Relations: Bahram Soroush ([email protected])
www.wpiran.org www.kargaran.org www.newchannel.tv www.rowzane.com