Support the strike of the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers and Ahvaz steelworkers
24 November 2018
On the 20th day of their strike, the Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers and their families once again took to the streets of the city of Shush and demanded the release of their workers’ representative as well as a female reporter who had previously been detained. Concurrently, the strike of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (I.N.S.I.G.) workers in the southern city of Ahvaz remains ongoing with workers rallying in the streets once again.
The workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Complex held demonstrations even after an announcement by the head of the Ministry of Labour task force that the strike had ended, work was to resume at the complex, and that the workers’ demands had been resolved. The workers rejected these claims and instead unanimously demanded the ouster of the private sector from the running of the complex and its immediate return to the public sector, along with the demand for the participation of workers in overseeing production there. By so far paying only one month of the workers’ unpaid wages, the theocratic regime has tried to muzzle the protests. It has also tried to divide the workers and instill infighting among them by spreading false and malicious rumours. Meanwhile, the regime continues to oppose the workers’ demand for the release of the two detainees. The General Director of the Unemployment Insurance Office of the Ministry of Labour curtly responded that: “The issue of detaining the worker who was arrested is an intelligence matter… the [security] officials must do their investigation.” The lawyer of those workers who have already been released also stated that they have only been released under strict bail conditions and that their files remain open.
Clearly, authorities within the judiciary, along with the security agencies, have deemed the strike an intelligence and security matter in order to continue putting pressure on the workers and their representatives. According to breaking reports today - Saturday 24 November - the police forces moved to violently suppress the steelworkers and beat many of them severely. The regime is trying to silence the voice of protesting workers at Haft Tappeh and Ahvaz. This regime manoeuvering must be countered through united action, solidarity as well as heightened awareness and vigilance amidst these fast-moving events. The solidarity of the working people and all the progressive and patriotic forces is of utmost importance for the continuation of the struggle and to win the demands of the striking workers.
The Tudeh Party of Iran strongly condemns the appalling treatment of the workers, the regime’s addressing of the issues they have raised as a matter of national security and the recourse to violent repression. We demand the government adheres to the inalienable rights of the working people, such as their right to strike; an end to the treating of workers, and the issues they raise, as national security threats; the closure of the files of all hitherto released workers; and the immediate and unconditional release of the workers and reporter that remain in detention. Our party wholly supports the demands of the workers, such as an end to the privatisation, and stands beside them with a full and unshakeable resolve.
Greetings to the workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Complex and the Ahvaz steelworkers!
Detained workers must be freed!
Iranian women, working people, progressive and patriotic forces of the nation, let’s support the strike of workers at Haft-Tappeh and Ahwaz with our full resolve!
Tudeh Party of Iran
24 November 2018