Iran Reports

A brief look at challenges facing independent workers’ organisations in Iran

Workers had a key role in 1979 revolution in Iran. During the revolution they established their own independent organisations such as strike committees, Workers councils, syndicates and many other types. After the revolution workers’ independent organisations were rapidly growing as struggle to fulfil the demands of the anti-monarchy revolution.
However new ruling class of Islamic Republic found the growing workers’ organisations too dangerous. Islamic Republic initiated its own state sponsored organizations such as Islamic Labour Councils and “Worker’s House” as official alternatives and in opposition to independent workers’ organisations. They aimed to completely and totally eradicate any and all independent labour organisations.
The government was assisted in this effort by individuals such as Alireza Mahjoub: present head of Workers’ House; a member of Islamic Labour Councils; and also on the Board of Directors World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)*. After the revolution while independent workers’ organisations were growing in numbers, these agents of Islamic Republic labelled independent labour activists in the workplace and gave names of activists to state security forces.
Some activists were able to flee the country or had to lead a clandestine life, while many others were arrested and sent to prison later on many of them murdered in prison.
 In 2005, despite a police crackdown a new generation of Iranian labour activists began anew to establish independent workers’ organization. Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate was established in 2005, based on ratification of bus workers in two separate General Assemblies. In 2006 Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Factory workers established their Syndicate.
Since then many independent organizations of labour activists such as Free Union of Iranian Workers, Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations, Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organizations, Mechanical Metalworkers union, the Founding Board of Board Painters’ Syndicate and many others in smaller scales have initiated building their own independent organisations.
All these organizations and their members have been, and continue to be, targeted and persecuted by the ruling regime’s security and intelligent forces throughout these years.

WFTU leadership continues to demonstrate complete lack of judgement and a backward approach against the wishes of the Iranian working class by building alliances with “Worker’s House” of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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