Skip to main content

Solidarity for the Freedom of Union Activists and Against Repression in Iran

Solidarity for the Freedom of Union Activists and Against Repression in Iran

April 21, 2024

People in Iran went through a difficult year. Hundreds of people were killed during the revolutionary movement of “Women, Life, Freedom”, hundreds more people lost their eyes and thousands were imprisoned. The repression of the labor movement also became more severe. A number of labor institutions along with a number of civil and democratic organizations supported the movement by issuing a charter and proposed a plan to expand the grass roots of the movement, which received a lot of attention.

Suppression of labor unions intensified and hundreds of them were arrested, dozens were sentenced to long prison terms. Currently, nineteen of them, including three main leaders of the bus drivers’ union and ten of the leaders of their organizations are in prison. Dozens of teachers and workers have also been fired.

Violation of labor and social security laws intensified. The retirement age increased, pensions decreased, wages increased 50% below the official inflation rate, and the cost of living increased dramatically. Currently, the minimum wage in Iran is below the poverty line and barely covers one third of living expenses.

Millions of other people were pushed below the poverty line due to the lack of proper increase in wages. According to the latest statistical report, 96% of the 15 million workers work on a 3 or 6-months contract, and employers can fire them without any obstacles.

Meanwhile, the situation of women is much worse. Share of women in the labor market is less than 14%. Wage and gender discrimination against women is quite common and many of them are not covered by the labor law and insurance. During the past 5 years, the share of women in employment has decreased by at least 4%.

According to the report of the Research Center of the parliament, "15% of the population of Iranian children are working children, and this statistic has increased due to the poverty of the families. About ten percent of these children do not have the opportunity to attend school".

Labor strikes and protests have also expanded in the past year compared to the previous year. There have been hundreds of strikes and protests during this period in industrial and service sectors, including in the oil and petrochemical industry, steel industry, iron smelting, automotive workers, Mines, transportation, etc.

These protests have several reasons, such as protests for wage increase, job security, right to organize and strike, cancellation of contract work, cancellation of temporary labor contracts, change and adjustment of labor laws and social security and release of imprisoned and fired union activists. The most protests were for salary increase and pension.

The street protests of the pensioners with the demand for salary increase and improvement of the health care situation increased in an unprecedented way in the past year. The pensioners held several street protests every week. The number of these protests was more than two hundred cases.

We use the opportunity of the first of May, World Workers' Solidarity Day and while congratulating the International Workers' Day, we call on your leaders and members and labor parties and unions, wherever you are, protest against the suppression and trampling of trade union and human rights in Iran and condemn it in any way you can and ask the Islamic regime authorities to release the imprisoned union activists and respect the trade union rights of workers and wage earners.

Working Commission of the Left Party of Iran

April 21, 2024

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.