Saturday, March 01, 2008

March 6 Day of Acton in Solidarity with Iranian Workersi

On 6 March, trade unions around the world are holding an international day of action in solidarity with the workers of Iran. The day will include protests, meetings, and other actions. An on-line petition has been launched to support the campaign.

The Iranian government has been arresting workers who have stood up and tried to organize unions -- including Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi, who both languish in jails despite continuing health problems. There is a YouTube video which tells the story of Osanloo and the bus drivers of Tehran.

This repression is in violation of International Labour Organization core conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That Declaration states that "everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests."

LabourStart has been asked by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), which together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called for the day of action, to mobilize thousands of trade unionists online. Please take a moment and send off a message to the Iranian leaders demanding respect for workers' rights and freedom for jailed trade unionists.

The case has also been taken up by Amnesty International.

Amnesty is deeply concerned about the plight of trade unionists in Iran, the persecution of independent trade unionists and non-compliance with international labour conventions. In particular Amnesty International worldwide is committed to long-term action on behalf of two trade unionists who have faced repeated incarceration and victimisation for the exercise of their legitimate trade union rights. Mansour Ossanlu is leader of the Tehran Bus Workers' Union, and Mahmoud Salehi was leader of a bakers' union in Saqez. Amnesty consider trade unionist Ossanlu and Mahmoud Salehi to be prisoners of conscience, held solely for the legitimate exercise of their human rights, and we call for them to be released and for all charges to be dropped.

Statements of solidarity from unions around the world.


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