5 – No guarantee of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index


The ITUC does not have an affiliate in Iran.

In practice

Browse by:

Protesting mineworkers publicly flogged24-06-2016

The anti-union repression in Iran has become increasingly harsh in the last few years. In May 2016, 16 mineworkers of the Agh Dareh gold mine in the northwestern city of Tikaab were publicly flogged because they protested against the firing of 350 of their colleagues. Each miner received between 30 and 99 lashes after their employer filed a complaint against the collective action and the security services carried out the sentence.

Unfortunately, the practice of flogging protesting workers seems to be rather common in the country, another case occurring at the Bafgh iron mine for workers taking part in a protest back in 2014.

Several arbitrary detentions of trade unionists occurred in the holy month of October 26-10-2016

Several trade unionists were imprisoned in the month of October 2016 in Iran. Among others:

- on 7 October, Mr. Esmail Abdi, the secretary general of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Union received confirmation of a six-year prison sentence for “assembling and colluding against national security”.

- on 15 October, Mr. Jafar Azimzadeh, chairman of the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers and Mr. Shapour Ehsanirad were sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment each for “establishing unions and carrying out propaganda against the government”.

Of the latter two activists, Mr. Azimzadeh had already been sentenced in 2014 to six years of prison and to a two-year ban on any media and cyberspace activity.

Independent trade union movement still faces regular acts of repression, executions and extra-judicial murder 15-12-2016

The Iranian free and independent union independent union A trade union that is not affiliated to a national union. Can also be a union that is not dominated by an employer.

See yellow union

movement fights for fundamental labour rights, despite repression, imprisonment, executions, and extrajudicial murder.

The legal framework existing in Iran enormously limits independent trade union activity within and outside enterprises. The Iranian free and independent trade union movements still fights for fundamental labour rights while facing habitual acts of repression, imprisonment, execution and extrajudicial murder. Despite the theoretical recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. of freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
, independent trade unions are not allowed to be created and operate within the employers’ premises where only the government sponsored union of the Workers’ House of the Islamic Republic of Iran is allowed. This is in a socio-political context where workers that are suspected of being affiliated to independent unions are regularly dismissed and arrested. Any sort of collective action is repressed in violence and strikes are impeded by security forces, riot police and the militia. The government sponsors pro-regime Islamic Labour Councils, tripartite organizations containing worker and employer representatives and government appointees. These Councils manage centrally the system of industrial relations industrial relations The individual and collective relations and dealings between workers and employers at the workplace, as well as the institutional interaction between unions, employers and also the government.

See social dialogue
, practically operating as instruments of the state at the workplace. Therefore, they are hugely unpopular in the Iranian labour movement and vigorously opposed by independent trade unions.

Furthermore, the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – also known as the “Iranian Nuclear Deal” - in July 2015 brought a new challenge for Iranian workers: in order to attract foreign capital, the labour market has been further liberalised, weakening labour law protections and guarantees.

Labour activist arrested02-10-2015

Hatam Samadi from the Coordination Committee for Establishing Labour Organisations was arrested on 2 October by plainclothes officials and transferred to an unknown location. His arrest was reported to his family by the Sanandaj Intelligence Bureau. The committee was established to help Iranian workers fight for their rights.

Mine workers arrested for protesting at layoffs26-01-2016

Twenty workers at the Khatoonabad Copper Mine Complex in Kerman were arrested on 26 January 2016 for taking part in protests. The workers were arrested after they gathered to protest against unpaid wages and the dismissal of 130 contract workers, after a series of tests announced back in September 2015. On 13 February 2016, 23 of those arrested were released on bail.

Protesting mine worker dies after incident involving police tear gas16-06-2015

Workers’ representative Mohammadali Mirzai was killed in an accident with a coal trailer during labour protests in Zarand, Kerman, after police shot tear gas into the crowd. On 16 June more than 350 workers at the Madanjoo Company in Zarand staged a protest by blocking the road, after spending three months in a state of limbo with no work.
Eyewitnesses reported that police threw tear gas into the crowd in order to disperse the workers, and as a coal trailer tried to force its way through the protesters, it ran over Mirzai, who had been temporarily blinded by the tear gas.

The workers were demanding that either the mine reopen or that they all be placed on employment insurance, which the company has been refusing to do, saying the workers were only on contract and, therefore, were not entitled to insurance

Government interference, and nurses punished for protesting against low pay20-06-2015

The Ministry of Health informed several candidates for the College of Nursing elections on 20 June 2015 that they were disqualified from standing. They were informed by letters and phone calls shortly before the deadline for declaring their candidacy, leaving them only one day to appeal the decision. No justification was given however. The House of Nurses association believed it was a result of a year of protests by nurses over inadequate pay and benefits.
Two months later four hospital nurses at Tehran’s Amir Alam Hospital were dismissed for taking part in labour protests. The termination order was issued by the Tehran Medical Sciences Board of Administrative Offences. Two of the fired nurses were members of Tehran’s Nursing Association. Nurses had been demanding the implementation of the Nursing Tariff Act, which had been approved eight years earlier but had not been implemented due to the lack of an adequate budget.

Additional prison sentences for persecuted union leaders16-09-2015

On 16 September Mahmoud Salehi, a founding member of the Bakery Workers’ Union in the city of Saqez (Kurdistan Province) who has been in and out of prison for the past 20 years, was sentenced to another nine years. He was out of prison on bail after being arrested on 28 April. He had lost a kidney during his previous imprisonment and it was feared that if he returned to prison he would die.
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh a member of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers’ Organisations, and a children’s rights advocate, was sentenced to another 7 years, 9 months and 15 days in addition to a previous sentences. Ebrahimzadeh had been in prison since June 2010 when he was sentenced to five years for “gathering and colluding with intent to harm state security”. He is also in very poor health.

Bus workers’ leader receives further jail sentence and faces new charges15-05-2015

In May 2015, Reza Shahabi, treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburban Bus Company (Vahed Syndicate), was prosecuted and sentenced to a further year in prison. He was already serving a five-year sentence for “propaganda against the state,” and “collusion with the intent to act against national security” for his role in the dispute between the union and the bus company.
He had been on medical leave from prison following a back operation in September 2014, but was forced to live outside of Tehran, away from his wife and children. Then in December 2014 Reza was summoned to Evin prison’s prosecutor’s office and interrogated about a protest by prisoners in Evin prison on 17 April 2014. He went on trial, the sentence was handed down in May 2015, and upheld in December 2015 by the Appeals Court.
Reza remained on medical leave, but was again summoned to report to the Intelligence Ministry on 7 February 2016. A new file had been opened against him, for inciting workers and disturbing public opinion and order, because he went to the Ministry of Labour. He had applied to the Ministry to pursue his request to return to work which had been denied despite the Iranian government’s report to the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
that he was free and had returned to work. He was also accused of going to City Hall for union related actions, of collecting union membership dues and distributing Vahed Syndicate’s newsletters.
Reza Shahabi was first arrested in 2005 for his participation in a bus drivers’ strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, then sacked. He was arrested again in 2010 and was banned from union activities for five years. Since then he has spent 22 months in solitary confinement, has been beaten and has been on hunger strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
several times.

Former sugar workers’ leader arrested again15-09-2015

Ali Nejati, retired and former President of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Company Workers’ Syndicate, was arrested on 15 September 2015. His residence was raided and his personal items, including his computer and notes, were confiscated by intelligence agents. Mr. Nejati had previously been incarcerated a number of times for his trade union activities. This time he was charged with “spreading propaganda against the system”. Family and friends were concerned as they did not know his whereabouts and he suffered from long term heart problems, relying on medication. He was released on bail on 18 October.

Union leader dies from ill-treatment in prison13-09-2015

Shahrokh Zamani, a member of the Founding Board of the Syndicate of Paint Workers of Tehran and the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers Organisations, was found dead on 13 September 2015 in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison in Karaj.
Shahrokh Zamani was originally arrested in June 2011 and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for the crime of “spreading propaganda against the regime and forming socialist groups” and “endangering national security”. He was an active trade union leader, organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. workers and defending their rights.
Shahrokh’s cellmate found his body, with blood in his mouth and nose, when he tried to wake him up in the morning. The authorities claimed his death was from natural causes.
Mr. Zamani had no health problems before entering prison, according to his daughter, but became increasingly unwell as a result of his treatment in prison. One year into his sentence, Shahrokh Zamani wrote a letter to labour and human rights organisations, describing the physical and mental torture he was subjected to. He also expressed concerns that his and other political prisoners’ lives were in danger. He staged hunger strikes in protest at his ill-treatment. Despite suffering occasional loss of consciousness due to his ill-treatment and torture, he was denied medication and had to wait a year to be sent for an MRI scan. He was also denied visitors, and suffered from the knowledge that his family faced endless harassment from the government.

Arrest and dismissals for protesting at unpaid wages16-05-2015
Labour leaders arrested in run up to May Day29-04-2015

Tehran Security Police arrested two members of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Ebrahim Maddadi and Davood Razavi, in their homes on 29 April 2015, and two other labour activists, Mahmoud Salehi and Osman Ismaili, were arrested in the city of Saqez in the Kurdistan Province on 28 April. On 25 April, plainclothes security agents in Sanandaj, Kurdistan, arrested the labour activist Reza Amjadi.
The arrests came against a background of mounting worker unrest over the impact on workers of international sanctions and economic mismanagement, with 70 per cent of workers below the official poverty line and 90 per cent of workers on temporary contracts. Over the preceding six months many workers had not been paid at all and it was calculated that between March 2014 and March 2015, there were at least 233 protests throughout the country, with strikes in the automotive industry, petrochemicals, mining, cement production, and other sectors, as well as the widespread teachers’ protests.
The response to such protest is to dismiss the workers, arrest the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
leaders, and send them to prison. With May Day imminent the government feared further unrest, viewing any labour mobilisation as a national security threat.
For nine years, labour organisations have not been able to obtain legal permits from the authorities to stage May Day parades. Workers have only been allowed to mark International Workers Day in programmes organised by the government.

More prison sentences handed down to teachers22-02-2016

Esmail Abdi, General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA-Tehran) was sentenced to six years in prison by branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court, presided over by the notorious Judge Salavati. The verdict was announced on 22 February 2016 , following a trial which began on 31 January. The charges against Esmail Abdi included “gathering and colluding with intent to harm public order” and “propaganda against the system”. The real reasons for his arrest and imprisonment, said his union, were his trade union activism as the general secretary of the ITTA (Tehran) and his leading role the teachers’ protests.
Mahmoud Beheshti Langroodi, a spokesperson for the ITTA, Mohammad Reza Niknejad and Mehdi Bohlooli, both former board members of the ITTA (Tehran), were sentenced on 7 March 2016 by the Islamic Revolutionary court in Tehran. Each was sentenced to five years in prison by the trial court which is subject to review in the appeals court. Mahmoud Beheshti Langroodi was already serving a nine year prison sentence, which was ordered by Judge Salavati in a trial that last only a few minutes. Mohammad Reza Niknejad and Mehdi Bohlooli had been released on a three hundred million toman bail on 29 September 2015, following their arrest on 31 August.

Teacher’s prison sentence extended15-09-2015

Rasoul Bodaghi, a board member of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA), was sentenced to three extra years in prison in September, after having already served the five years in prison following his trial on 3 August 2010. He was originally sentenced to six years and banned for five years from social and cultural activities in 2010 for “propaganda against the state,” and “assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security.”

More teachers arrested22-08-2015

Milad Darvish, labour activist and filmmaker and a member of the “Environmental Foundation for the Sanctity of Life” (and honorary member of the Teachers’ Union) was arrested by the security forces on 22 August 2015 following a raid by intelligence force on his parents’ home where he was living. He had been previously detained on 1 March after a gathering of teachers in front of the Offices of Education in Tehran, and he spent twelve days of detention in ward 2A in Evin prison. He was released on a bail of 50 million Tomans.
Mohmmadreza Niknejad, an executive member of the Tehran Teachers’ Association, and Mehdi Bohlouli, an independent teacher activist, were arrested in their homes by security forces on 31 August 2015. Some of their belongings, including laptops, were confiscated in the course of the arrest. Another member of the Teachers’ Association, Ali Hossein Panahei, was arrested in the city of Sanandaj.
On the morning of 6 September 2015, Mr. Mahmoud Beheshti Langroodi, a board member of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (Tehran), was arrested by security forces at his home. Security forces searched his home and confiscated some of his belongings. ITTA (Tehran) reported that the day before his arrest, Mr. Beheshti Langroodi was part of a meeting between ITTA and Mr. Nobakht, President Rouhani’s Deputy, to discuss the problems teachers in Iran continue to face.
Ramin Zandnia, a member of ITTA (Kurdistan), was arrested along with his wife by intelligence forces in the city of Saqez on 15 October.

Esmail Abdi, head of the Iranian Teachers’ Association, arrested21-06-2015

Esmail Abdi, the head of the Iranian Teacher’s Association (ITA) had his passport confiscated on 21 June 2015 as he tried to travel to Armenia to obtain a travel visa to Canada. He had planned to attend Education International’s (EI) 7th World Congress in Ottawa in July. He was told he could not travel abroad, and to report to the prosecutor’s office. He went to the prosecutor’s office on 27 June and was arrested and imprisoned.
Mr. Abdi was then transferred to Section 2A of Evin Prison, run by the intelligence unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. He was accused of "organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. and participating in illegal gatherings” and was denied access to his family and lawyers under the new Code of Criminal Procedures. The Code restricts access to legal counsel during the investigative phase for detainees charged with national security related crimes.
Mr. Abdi and the ITA had been active in the wave of teachers’ protests rallies and had been warned back in May by the regime’s Intelligence Ministry that if the protests continued, he would be arrested. In addition to calling for decent pay, the teachers were pressing for the right of teachers to participate in educational policy development, an end to the privatisation of schools, and the right to bargain collectively for job security . They also demanded the release of the hundreds of teachers being held in prison. In August 2015 a deputy in the regime’s Ministry of Education admitted to holding over 1,000 teachers in prison.
On 22 July, over 2,000 teachers held another rally in front of parliament to protest the continued detention of activists. More than 200 teachers were arrested but were released soon afterwards.

Teachers’ leader Ali Akbar Baghbani arrested in crackdown on protests28-05-2015

On 28 May 2015 the Iranian Teachers Association (ITA) protested that its executive member Ali Akbar Baghbani had been arrested for criticising the government’s reaction to teacher protests and demands. In a statement the association wrote that “oppressive government institutions” were trying to stifle teachers’ protests by arresting activists and enforcing severe restrictions. The ITA stipulated that the protests were rooted in “a serious dissatisfaction with the “discriminatory treatment of teachers compared to other government employees”. The teachers were demanding pay increases that would put their wages in line with those of other government employees. The response of the government was to discourage the protests and conduct numerous arrests.

Teachers’ leader Alireza Hashemi arrested 19-04-2015

Alireza Hashemi, head of the Iran Teachers Organization, was arrested on 19 April 2015 at his home and transferred to Evin Prison to serve a five-year sentence, originally handed to him in 2013, on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the regime”. Earlier in April thousands of teachers took part in protests in 37 cities in Iran, against poverty wages and discrimination. Ahead of the protests the clerical regime had summoned a number of teachers and threatened them not to hold public protests in current situation in Iran which the authorities described as ‘critical’.

Freedom of assembly and speech:19-06-2015

Unions are not permitted to distribute newsletters at their workplace. The internet is fully controlled and social media is filtered by the government. Jamil Mohammadi and Jaffar Azimzadeh who collected 40,000 signatures for a petition were sentenced for 3 and 6 years imprisonment.

Mine workers arrested for strike action09-02-2015

On 19 August 2014, nine mine workers were arrested for participating in a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action in Bafgh Iron Ore Mine in Yazd against the privatisation of the company, which was going to have an impact on the working conditions of the miners. The strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
ended with a violent intervention by riot police and the arrest and detention of the nine workers. Over 5,000 miners have downed tools in support of the detained workers who were arrested for taking part in a 40-day strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
at the mine in early 2014. Workers also demanded that 15 per cent of revenue from the mine should be invested in the Yazd region.

Kidnappings and arrests09-02-2015

On 30 April 2014, authorities detained Messrs Jafar Azimzadeh and Jamil Mohammadi. On May Day Parvin Mohammadi and Shapour Ehsanirad were arrested. All four are officials of the Free Union of Iranian Workers. In 2013, they organised a mass petition protesting the worsening conditions of workers and were among unionists who tried to organise a May Day demonstration. Parvin Mohammadi and Shapour Ehsanirad were released, but the other two remain in ward 209 in Evin prison. A number of other unionists were summoned for interrogations and were warned not to go ahead with the May Day demonstrations in 2014 in a number of cities across the country including Kurdistan Province.

On May Day the authorities arrested 23 members of the Tehran bus workers’ union the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, including Ibrahim Madadi, before they were transferred to the notorious Evin Prison, where they were released a few hours after.

On 2 May arrests targeted several workers, trade unionists and labour activists as well as their families and associates who were attempting to assemble for a social gathering on the first weekend after 1 May.

Twelve other unionists and labour activists are currently in prison in Iran and many others are facing long-term prison sentences merely for exercising their fundamental right to associate and to organise.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh of the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Labour Unions (CPELU) and a child rights activist is serving five years in prison.

At least three members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations (CCHFWO), Messrs Yousef Ab-Kharabat, Mohammad Molanaei and Vahed Seyedeh, are serving prison terms in the Kurdistan province of Iran. Other members of the CCHFWO have been sentenced to prison terms from one to three and a half years and are appealing their sentences. They include Messrs Vafa Ghaderi, Ghaleb Hosseini Khaled Hosseini, Mohammad Karimi, Jamal Minashiri, Ghassem Mostafapour, Afshin Nadimi and Hadi Tanoumand.

At least five members of the Teachers’ Association of Iran (TAI) are now serving long-term prison sentences, namely Mahmood Bagheri (four and a half years), Rassoul Bodaghi (six years), Mohammad Davari (six years) and Mehdi Farahi-Shandiz (three years). Another member of the TAI, Abdolreza Ghabari, is serving a 15-year sentence after his death sentence for contacts with opposition groups abroad was commuted. Other leading TAI members, Messrs Ali-Akbar Baghani, Mahmoud Beheshti-Langaroudi, and Alireza Hashemi, have been sentenced to long-term imprisonment, which they have appealed.

Imprisonment of Reza Shahabi09-02-2015

Reza Shahabi has been in custody since June 2010 and is serving a six-year prison sentence. As a result of the brutal treatment he received when he was arrested in 2010, beatings and torture during interrogations and denial of medical treatment, Reza is suffering from a number of health problems. These include liver and kidney dysfunction, severe pain in his back, and a loss of sensation in his left leg which limits his ability to move, wash himself or even go to the toilet without help from others. In August 2012, Reza received an operation on his spine; however, contrary to doctors’ recommendations he was sent back to prison. A subsequent examination by a state medical examiner officially declared that the discs in three vertebrae of his spine were destroyed and that he should be immediately hospitalised and operated on. In October 2013, Reza was examined by specialists at the Imam Khomeini Hospital, who prescribed immediate physiotherapy and hydrotherapy outside prison. They emphasised that without this treatment, severe physical disorders including loss of sensation and disability in the left part of his body were probable.

He has now been transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj.

Release of mine workers from Chadormalu Mine09-02-2015

In January 2014, security forces arrested over 20 workers of the Chadormalu Mine in the central province of Yazd, including the head and the secretary of the labour union, who stopped work as part of a contract negotiation and dispute.

More than 3,000 workers have demanded a pay increase that is compatible with the inflation rate, as well as overtime pay. Bahram Hassaninejad, the Secretary of the union, was dismissed from his job during earlier protests over this issue in November 2013. The protest grew wider after Hassaninejad’s dismissal, and his return to work became another demand in addition to the pay increase and back pay back pay Wages or benefits due an employee for past employment. Often awarded when the employee has been unfairly dismissed. Not to be confused with retroactive pay (delayed payment for work previously done at a lower wage rate). .

On 26 January 2014, the Ardakan Labour Office Determination Committee confirmed Hassaninejad’s dismissal order, sparking new protests among the mine workers. On 29 January, security forces summoned and arrested 20 workers who they implied had been instrumental in launching the initial protests. The remaining workers continued their sit-in, and on 30 January, four additional workers from among those who were holding a sit-in at the factory site, Ramin Heydarjan, Behzad Talebpour, Mahmoud Dehghan, and Ahmad Nasirpour, were also arrested.

Infringement of the right to freedom of expression30-06-2012

In June 2012, the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Commerce sent a letter to trade unions and associations involved in the production and distribution of goods, banning them from giving interviews to the media about inflation rates.

Imprisonment of trade union leaders12-08-2013

Last April, more than 50 teachers and educational workers were in detention or were summoned and awaiting their court hearings related to “national security” or “union activities”. 46 journalists were imprisoned and are still in various jails across the country. The jail terms range from 6 months to 19 years and the charges range from “Insulting the supreme leader” to “Assembly and collusion with the intent to disrupt national security” or “Moharebeh (waging war against God), propagating against the regime”, and even “Anti-state charges related to work in documenting violations of human rights”.

Mohammad Tavakoli, Secretary of the Kermanshah Teachers’ Guild Association was arrested in February 2013 and recently sentenced to exile from his home province. Previous harsher cases include the earlier detention of teacher Abdolreza Ghanbari who was tortured, ill-treated and for a long time denied access to a lawyer. Mr. Ghanbari was tried unfairly by the Tehran Revolutionary Court in January 2010 and sentenced to death for ’Moharebeh’.

Shahrokh Zamani, a labour activist, was arrested on June 7, 2011, sentenced to 11 years in prison, and transferred to various prisons, and is now banned from face-to-face visitations and phone calls.

On 15 June, 60 members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organisations and a number of labour activists were arrested in Karaj. The detainees were transferred to Rajai Shahr prison where some were reportedly beaten and ill-treated.

Huge police presence overshadows International Labour Day meeting 01-05-2011

On the eve of International Labour Day, seven major labour organisations in Iran issued a joint statement* demanding pay rises, an end to repression and cronyism, and the right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
and form independent labour organisations. Over 200 workers in the city of Sanandaj attempted to organise a Labour Day meeting but they were faced with a huge police presence.

* The joint statement was signed by the following labour organisations: Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company Workers’ Trade Union, Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers, Re-launching Committee of the Trade Union of Painters and Decorators, Re-launching Committee of the Trade Union of Metal and Mechanical Workers, The Center for Defenders of Workers’ Rights in Iran, Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Trade Union, Pursuit Committee for the Formation of Labour Organisations and Co-ordination Committee for the Formation of Labour Organisations.

Threats against and detention of journalists30-11-2010

In February, the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ) stated that at least 34 journalists remain in prison, including two women Nazanin Khosravani and Hengameh Shahidi. In January reports emerged of the arrest of Dr. Fariborz Raisdana, a labour activist and a member of the Iranian writers’ association and the Centre of Defenders of Workers’ Rights. In February, security forces arrested two journalists, working for Shargh, the only remaining reformist newspaper. Also in February, the former head of the Iranian news agency was arrested while four more journalists were detained for questioning.

In March, Kaveh Ghassemi Kermanshahi, Iranian journalist member of the Central Council of the Human Rights Organisation of Kurdistan, also signatory to the “One Million Signatures Campaign”, was sentenced to four years in prison for allegedly “acting against national security” and “propaganda” while Abdolreza Tajik, journalist and human rights activist, was sentenced to six years in prison, for “membership in an illegal group”; and one year for “propaganda” and “publishing false reports”. Partly in response to their coverage of the demonstrations, Jay Deshmukh, the AFP deputy bureau chief in Tehran, was expelled from Iran in April and stripped of his press card along with ten other correspondents.

In December, the Committee to Protect Journalists published a worldwide prison census for journalists, declaring the Islamic Republic of Iran as the world’s worst jailer, with 42 journalists behind bars. However other estimates give figures of around 100 journalists imprisoned since 2009.

Independent teachers’ unions fight uphill battle30-11-2010

Since 1999, separate independent teacher associations have been formed, and in 2001 the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teacher Trade Associations (CCITTA) was founded. In 2007, teachers’ protests led to the harassment, detention and incarceration of labour activists, and many suffered pay cuts, were dismissed and forced to retire. The Interior Ministry has since issued a ban on all teachers’ associations. Even though the associations have never been formally dissolved by court, intelligence officers insist that the associations have been liquidated by the government and that the teachers should resign from them. Several teacher associations have been crushed by the intelligence service, but some, such as the associations in Tehran, Esfahan and Kermanshah, remain active. Often, union meetings are either dispersed or supervised by officers from the intelligence service. Discrimination against unionised students has also been reported.

Right to organise heavily suppressed30-11-2010

The government relies on “security laws” to suppress any public expression of dissent. Many activists have been convicted of “propaganda against the state” and “jeopardising national security” by the Revolutionary Courts without any respect for international or Iranian fair-trial standards. While the government-backed Workers’ House or Islamic Councils consistently fail to address issues such as rights at work, privatisation, structural adjustments, low salaries and wage arrears, workers who try to organise independently are subjected to different forms of harassment, including violence, arrests, detention and potentially lengthy prison sentences. Security and intelligence forces are often present at workplaces to intimidate workers, and reports of trade unionists’ mistreatment by prison authorities are common.

© ITUC-CSI-IGB 2013 | www.ituc-csi.org | Contact Design by Pixeleyes.be - maps: jVectorMap