Bus workers’ syndicate of Tehran and sugarcane workers’ syndicate of Haft Tapeh have issued a joint statement on the recent protest movement in Iran, stating that protesting masses have poured into streets because they are fed up with poverty, injustice and repression.
The text of this joint statement, which was published on the bus workers’ syndicate’s website and both unions’ Telegram page, on January 5, 2018, is as follows:
Do not act violently against the discontented people
Today’s protests by workers and the deprived people is the result of injustice!
For years they were told that our wages cannot even minimally support our lives, but our voices were not heard. Even the meager minimum wages, which are five times below the poverty line, are not paid for months. Workers’ job security was destroyed through extensive privatization, sub-contracting, temporary job contracts and blank work contracts, which have been practiced continuously by all administrations. Financial resources which were supposed to be utilized for job creation instead became tools for hoarding money for a few particular groups, and their misguided policies only increased the level of unemployment. The accelerated spread of poverty, cardboard sleeping, and child labor and garbage scavenging to get fed became prevalent. The health insurance is inadequate for solving peoples’ and workers’ health issues. Embezzlement and the theft of public properties became rampant. Following the increase in the costs of public services, such as utilities and gas, prices were increased in all other spheres as well. The poor people’s back were broken by the implementation of “targeted subsidies”: While each year a fixed amount was paid in subsidies, prices for everything were increased significantly.
Workers’ and teachers’ just protests and strikes were met with beating, expulsion, flogging and incarceration. The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company, and all other syndicates and independent workers organizations, such as teachers’ independent organizations, which only represent and defend the rights of workers and teachers were not only denied any recognition but also were violently suppressed and their representatives were incarcerated and caught in the legal system. Even the articles from the constitution which recognizes people’s rights to protest and organize independent trade union organizations for the pursuit of their demands have continually been violated.
All workers and deprived people have experienced the bitter taste of these widespread injustices. A violent repression must not be a response to the protests by the discontented populations.
The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company
Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company
January 5, 2018
Original text in Farsi: http://vahedsyndica.com/archive/3114
Translated by: International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)