Dear President Hassan Rouhani
I am writing this letter to you as General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, representing more than fifty million workers in the mining, energy and manufacturing industries in some 140 countries worldwide, in order to call upon you to intervene to put an end the union busting activities and violation of trade union and workers’ rights, as enshrined in the International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions and recommendations, in Iran.
We are deeply concerned at reports of rampant violations of trade union and workers’ rights, which have resulted in the indiscriminate detention, torture and persecution of leaders of free and democratic trade unions in Iran. Trade unionists are randomly arrested and trumped up charges for “assembling and colluding with intent to act against national security” are brought against them, resulting in long term sentences. Some of these trade union leaders have resorted to the drastic step of going on hunger strike in protest against the draconian treatment of trade unions and workers. Their only crime is to defend their human dignity and that of their fellow workers, and to demand respect for their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
IndustriALL Global Union condemns in the strongest terms the brutal flogging of 17 Agh Dareh Gold Mine workers in May 2016. The mineworkers were exercising their legitimate right to protest against layoffs and were demanding job security.
A further nine Bafgh Mining Company workers in Yazd Province have also been sentenced to imprisonment and tens of lashes in recent days. Such inhuman sentences against protesting workers are a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights and labour rights conventions .
Therefore, it is imperative that the Government of Iran intervene immediately to end gross violations of human rights and trade unions rights, including flogging of mineworkers, at the Agh Dareh Gold Mine, and the Bafgh Mining Company.
We take this opportunity to urge again the Government of Iran to ratify ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, and ILO Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining.
I am looking forward to your prompt reply.
IndustriALL Global Union