From: The National Union of Dismissed and Unemployed Workers of Iran
To: International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Amnesty International
Re: Solidarity with March 6th, International Day of Action in Support of Workers in Iran; protesting the flogging sentences for the workers in Iran
Date: Feb. 28, 2008
We, in the National Union of Dismissed and Unemployed Workers of Iran, salute your determination in supporting the workers in Iran, and shake your hands in gratitude for declaring March 6 the International Day of Action in Support of Iranian Workers. We also declare that, despite the existing pressures and prohibitions inside Iran, we will try our best to participate in that global campaign, within the limits of imposed restrictions on us, in order to represent the attempts made by the workers to achieve their human demands.
As you are aware, not only have the judicial authorities of Iran so far not taken any heed of the demands made by the workers in Iran and across the world in regards to releasing Mansoor Osaanloo and Mahmood Saalehi, but also have intensified their measures against the workers. They have now taken an unprecedented action and sentenced the workers participating in last year’s May 1st ceremonies to flogging. Despite protests on the part of the workers, as well as the public opinion, in Iran, the sentences have been so far executed in the case of five of the eleven convicted workers, namely, Abbas Andaryaari, Sedigh Amjadi, Habibollaah Kalekaani, Sedigh Sobhaani and Faares Gaviliyaan.
Handing down official sentences of flogging by the judiciary, in any country, for the workers participating in May 1st ceremonies goes beyond intensifying anti-worker policies and practices. It is tantamount to reviving slavery. It blatantly mocks the hitherto progress made by the world working class, that is, ridding the labour force of flogging, and thereby putting an end to a shameful era in the history of mankind; an achievement the world working class has paid for dearly in blood.
Moreover, as last year Mahmood Saalehi was imprisoned (despite his grave ailment) for holding May 1st ceremonies, and the workers are being flogged for the same charge this year, one has but to conclude that flogging the workers in Iran for holding May 1st ceremonies is a heinous act, not only against the said eleven workers, but against May 1st itself as an international achievement of the working class.
We, therefore, expect you, our dear friends in International Trade Union Confederation, International Transport Workers’ Federation and Amnesty International who have organized the International Day of Action in Support of Iranian Workers around the demand for the release of Mansoor Osaanloo and Mahmood Saalehi, to also turn the demand for observing the dignity of May 1st as an achievement of world working class, the protest against flogging sentences for the workers, and the immediate cessation of persecution and prosecution of labour activists in Iran into other pivotal points of your international action.
Long live international solidarity of the working class!
National Union of Dismissed and Unemployed Workers of Iran
CC: Global Unions
[Translated by the International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran]