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A state that arrests, detains and flogs workers should not be in the ILO!

To all labour organisations around the world

The ninety-seventh annual conference of the ILO will be held between May 28 and June 13, 2008. Every year this conference hosts a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Beside the Islamic Republic, the ILO also recognises Workers’ House and Islamic Workers’ Councils – i.e. organisations made by the regime against workers – as “workers’ organisations from Iran”.

The International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran strongly protests against the participation of the Islamic Republic in the annual conference of the ILO and calls for the expulsion of this regime from the ILO.

Unfortunately, it has been argued that the attendance of the Islamic Republic and its Workers’ House at the annual conferences of the ILO is conducive to dialogue and to pressuring the Islamic Republic to recognise and respect the minimum rights of workers. However, this approach has plainly proved itself wrong. The Islamic Republic continues to arrest and imprison worker activists. It has not recognised any of the basic worker rights such as freedom of association, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Moreover, it has shamelessly added flogging to its techniques of repressing workers. Workers in Iran are right in condemning the ILO for its continued recognition of the Islamic Republic and its delegations.

In the past year alone, hundreds of trade unions around the world called for the release of two Iranian labour leaders, Mansoor Ossanlou and Mahmoud Salehi, and for respect for worker rights in Iran. However, the Islamic Republic has simply ignored these calls. Indeed, as documented by numerous human rights organisations, the atrocities of the regime in Iran against workers and all sections of the people have only intensified. The Islamic regime’s continued membership in organisations such as the ILO has thus become totally indefensible.

Our committee values highly the tremendous solidarity shown by labour organisations throughout the world with workers in Iran. We also believe that a decisive step towards supporting the struggle of the workers in Iran is the isolation of the Islamic Republic on an international scale and its expulsion, together with its Workers’ House, from the ILO. A state that arrests, detains and flogs workers should not be in the ILO! We request all labour organisations around the world to exercise their influence to expel the Islamic Republic of Iran from the ILO.

International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran

Shahla Daneshfar, Coordinator
Bahram Soroush, Public Relations

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