Iran

The following is a statement issued by Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network activists in Sanandaj on the recent arrest of Pedram Nasrollahi, a Kurdish labour activist. Pedram was released on bail earlier this year (April 6 2009) from prison in Sanandaj, the capital of the Iranian province of Kurdistan.

After their wages and bonuses went unpaid a group of Abadan oil refinery workers began a protest on Wednesday November 11. Around 300 workers have not been paid for more than three months.

On November 4 Iran was once again shaken by mass demonstrations. Normally this day is used by the regime to celebrate the anniversary of the occupation of the US embassy in Iran. The masses used it to mobilize against the regime, shouting slogans such as “Death to the Dictator”, revealing a deep-felt desire to see an end to this regime.

On Monday November 2 the bakers of Sanandaj, in Iranian Kurdistan, won a pay rise. After their several meetings and ongoing correspondence with the Governor’s Office and other Sanandaj authorities over higher wages had no result, the bakers of Sanandaj finally announced a three-hour strike on November 2.

The Arbitration Board of the Shush Labour Office has fired Ali Nejati, the President of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Trade Union.

The Appeals Court of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ahvaz has issued prison sentences for the labour activists and executive committee members of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company’s trade union.

On September 18 there were mass demonstrations in Iran, confirming the fact that the movement that began against electoral fraud is not dead. That movement shook Iranian society, and although there will be ups and downs, it will continue until the present hated regime is brought down. The key question is the role of the working class and the need for a revolutionary leadership.

Two hundred and fifty workers at the Crepe Naz textiles factory in Harsin County (in Kermanshah Province, western Iran) stopped work on 12-15 September to protest against not being paid their wages for the past four months.

Last week we witnessed a public spectacle in Iran, which revealed the resilience of the mass movement, but most importantly it brought out into the open the serious divisions at the top of the regime, the precursor of an even deeper crisis. What is required now is for the working class to step in as a force that can lead the whole movement and bring down the regime.

The 4000 workers at the brick kilns of Vayghan-Shabestar, in East Azerbaijan province, have won better pay and benefits following a 17-day strike. Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network has translated two statements by the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers on this strike.

The reign of terror unleashed by the Iranian government against the demonstrations in the aftermath of the rigged elections did succeed in keeping people off the streets the last 11 days. But yesterday this combustible material ignited once again, as thousands once more took to the streets in a collective show of defiance.

In spite of attempts by the regime to intimidate people with threats of violent repression, thousands turned out to demonstrate yesterday in Tehran. Here we have eyewitness reports about the events that unfolded.