Special Report on Labor Day

08:29 - 2/5/2023

Special Report on Labor Day

"Worker" is a phrase that has been dedicated on the 1st of May to celebrate this group. Parties around the world celebrate this day with demonstrations. The first labor rally dates back to May 1, 1886, when workers demanded a reduction in working hours. In Iran, however, the heel turns on the same door in 1886; For several years, this group, which constitutes the majority of Iranian society, has not seen a good turn. The lowest salary or even the lack of the same few rials, job insecurity and ... It is one of the problems of the "worker" class in Iran. With the increase in the dollar rate and the decline of the national currency, the middle class in Iran has virtually disappeared and society has become rich and poor.

Preparation and arrangement; Sara Rahimi/Saqqez

But the question is, in which period did the labor protests in Iran begin? Apart from their return from Russia, Iranian migrant workers brought with them Western ideas, especially those of communism, socialism and anarchy. In 1922, the first International Workers' Day ceremony was held in Iran. The demands of the protesting workers were to enact a law to determine the boundaries of workers and employers and to prevent owners from encroaching on farmers, but the most important issue is the state of labor unions after the 1979 revolution. Despite their prominent presence in the 1979 revolution, this group tried to improve their trade union conditions. Until 1981, workers could organize an independent rally, after which International Workers' Day was held only by the classes. Mehdi Kohestaninejad, consultant of the International Confederation of Labor Unions and a member of the Canadian Labor Congress, says: "The first two years of the revolution, that is, until 1981, the International Labor Day ceremony was held independently. But in the 1980s, the International Labor Day was celebrated only by trades or political families held private ceremonies. In the 70s, specifically, the House of Labor and the government changed International Workers' Day to International Workers' Week, and between 1997 and 2005, we did not have any government ceremony, not even by the House of Workers. But from the 90s until today, many independent institutions have spontaneously held the May Day ceremony." Interestingly, even though this group played a significant role in the revolution, the Expediency Council in the Labor Law approved in 1990 not only did not mention the formation of trade unions, but also did not recognize them.

The first violence of the government against workers' protests

On the 11th of May 1946, workers in Kermanshah tried to organize a protest ceremony to achieve their demands, but unfortunately, it was accompanied by a police attack. In this brutal attack, 14 workers were killed and 120 people were injured. These dead and wounded can be considered the first case in Iran. The violence and arrests did not end only during the Pahlavi era, arrests, adjustments, expulsions and exiles are the legacy that the Islamic Republic has presented to the workers.
Javanmir Moradi, Chairman of Kermanshah Metalworkers and Electrical Workers Trade Union Association, tells Radio Farda about this: "The most important demand of Iranian workers on International Labor Day in the past few years, considering the conditions of workers in Iran, is to increase wages and prevent mass layoffs. and providing job security." Demands that not only did not reach the ears of the authorities, but as the International Labor Day approaches, many activists in this field are arrested by the security forces of the Islamic Republic.

2022 was a much more difficult year for them than the previous years despite rampant inflation, adjustment and dismissal of many workers. A few days before the arrival of the International Labor Day, several trade union and labor activists went to the house of Mohammad Habibi, the spokesperson of the Teachers Trade Union Council and one of the trade union activists who is in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, when the security forces raided Mr. Habibi's house. By insulting and beating the guests and even Mr. Habibi's wife, Mrs. Khadijah Pakzamir was arrested, but she was released after a few hours. The Coordinating Council of Educators' Union Organizations has announced that "during this arrest, one of the female teachers suffered a heart attack and was admitted to the hospital." Rehane Ansarinejad, Anisha Asdalahi, Sarvnaz Ahmadi, Hassan Ebrahimi, Hirad Pirbodaghi, Jhaleh Rohzad, Kamiyar Fakour, Asal Mohammadi and Oldoz Hashemi are some of those arrested a few nights ago at Mr. Habibi's house, and it should be noted that some of these people have just been released from prison. were released Interestingly, Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, had a meeting with the "workers" on the 9th of May and thanked them for their cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In this meeting, he addressed the workers and said that "Fortunately, in all protest cases, the labor community has not allowed ill-wishers to abuse the protest and gathering by demarcating and announcing the border with the enemy and emphasizing companionship and friendship with the regime."

But unfortunately, the case does not end only with the arrest of labor activists; After a few days of contract and project workers' strike, Sakhawat Asadi, the CEO of Pars Special Economic Zone announced the dismissal of 4,000 workers in South Pars. In this regard, he told the Islamic Republic of Iran news agency, "These workers had demands, some of which were right, but there was no legal possibility to fulfill some of their demands. The workers' strike was a "walk-off" and this action was provoked and threatened by some hostile people.

Last point

Despite the fact that the Statistical Center of the Islamic Republic of Iran has not generally published any reports and statistics on inflation for several months, the increase in food and non-food items, housing, currency, and cars clearly indicates the unordered situation of the majority of the Iranian people. As rents increased in Iran, especially in Tehran, many workers were forced to rent shared houses or sleeping rooftops. But on the other hand, the Islamic Republic's performance shows that not only does it not compromise with the weak stratum of society, which includes tens of millions of Iranians, but by raising salaries less than two million in the budget of 1402, it is trying to tighten the atmosphere and, of course, increase workers' protests.

Preparation and arrangement; Sara Rahimi/Saqqez

08:44 - 2/5/2023 Updated.