According to reports, Iran is experiencing an absolute outburst of strikes and protests – over 2,000 in the last 12 months. This includes a national strike of over 100,000 oil workers across 19 cities. They are demanding:
- Improved pay, on time, and immediate payment of all due wages;
- Adherence and full compliance with health and safety standards at all sites;
- Working time on the basis of 20 days of work and 10 days of rest. (Many workers are employed in sites far from their families in the South of Iran, or on offshore platforms, in temperatures of 50°C);
- Abolition of the system of sub-contractors, and division of workers into “agency”, “contractor”, “official” or “unofficial” categories, in precarious employment or without contracts, to regular employment on standard contracts;
- Recognition of the right of workers to their own independent association and abolition of all “special economic zone” legislation banning the workers’ right to strike and organize.
We stand in solidarity with the demands of the oil workers, the workers at Heft Tapeh, and with the struggles of Iranian workers in general – for free and independent unions and for full democratic rights in general. We salute the courage of the Iranian working class in standing for working class unity and against all imposed divisions. We also support the popular protests currently under way. A victory of the working class is crucial for defeating the dictatorial regime and opening new possibilities in the struggle against capitalist exploitation and all forms of oppression, including that based on nationality, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
We also oppose all governmental interference from the outside, including but not limited to US-led sanctions, which only harm the Iranian masses and weakens the Iranian working class. It is only the global working class that can lend real solidarity to workers in Iran.
The workers movement in Iran has the power to change world politics. We urge the labor movement and workers in general in the US and globally to support these struggles and also to call for an end to US-led sanctions on Iran.
John Reimann, former recording secretary, Carpenters Union Local 713* and administrator, oaklandsocialist.com
Cheryl Zuur, former president, AFSCME Local 444*
Kieran F. Knutson, president CWA Local 7250*
Keith Kinion, member Wisconsin State Workers Power*
Scott Schroeder, member UFCW Local 8GS*
Heather Schroeder, member UFCW Local 8GS*
Earl Silbar, former chief steward, AFSCME Local 3506*, retired
Jon Bekken, Philadelphia Labor Solidarity Committee*
Michael Delacour, member, Boilermakers Union Local L549*
Eric Josephson, Transport Workers Union Local 100 (retired)*
Sarah Morken, health care worker, SEIU Local 1199NW*
Patrick Burns, retired member, Central Puget Sound Carpenters Local 30*, member Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity
Marcus Halaby, member British Labour Party, British-Syrian writer
Rohini Hensman, writer, researcher and activist, India
Alejandro Anreus, Professor of Art History and Latin American Studies, William Paterson University
Fezlur Rahmat, member Prendidkan Socialis, Indonesia
Linda Mann, anti-fascist activist, Minneapolis
Michael Hirsch, editorial board, New Politics
Thomas Harrison, editorial board, New Politics
Jason Pike, Poland
Felicity Dowling, Left Unity, Britain
Donald Larson, steering committee, Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) Seattle
Newham Socialist Labour
*organization or union listed for identification purposes only
The struggle in Iran has the potential to transform the world situation, including weaken the reactionary Israeli and Saudi regimes and bridge the Sunni-Shia divide. Below are signatories and endorsements of individuals and groups. We urge readers to add their names and to circulate this statement for additional names and group endorsements. Contact Oaklandsocialist (email@example.com) to send in additional names. Also, anybody wishing a pdf of this statement, please contact us. Also, check out other Oaklandsocialist articles on Iran.