Long live May 1st, International Labor Day!
May 1st, International Working Class Solidarity Day, is celebrated this year in the shadow of a global crisis caused by the Covid19 pandemic. In addition to the global pandemic, the lives of workers, wage earners and low-wage earners are very limited by the ongoing crisis of capitalism. The inability and inefficiency of the state and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has made the situation much worse and widened it, as has already been the case in the past.
The non-implementation of an efficient health policy and the lockdowns to contain the Covid’s pandemic, while at the same time the government’s failure to supply the people, has drastically worsened the supply crisis for the people. Although the workers and wage earners chanted and insisted on immediate, free vaccination for all, those in power are trying, in their own interests and those of their allies, to leave the import of the vaccine serums to the private sector without control or compensation.
This problem has forced a large part of the population and especially the middle class into dire misery. Increasingly, people are being driven to the impoverished fringes of society. The situation of working women is worst. According to existing statistics, unemployment among women rose to 70% in the course of the pandemic due to layoffs, which is reflected in the catastrophic living conditions of women. Since workers are generally more likely to be hired in low-paid areas of work, they are the first to face layoffs and unemployment, leading to their isolation and impoverishment. It is a blow to the entire working class, which particularly exacerbates financial disadvantage and gender-based discrimination against women and their children.
Despite all the difficulties, the Iranian workers and their supporters managed to continue their struggle tirelessly and consistently – despite a very unequal distribution of power, massive reprisals against them and supportive activists from other social movements. Workers and staff from various large factories, refineries and petrochemical industrial plants – from the Hepko industrial factory, the cane sugar factory Haft-Tapeh, the Tehran bus company, a steel factory in the province of Khusistan to the teaching staff, pensioners, students and supporting women – have consistently protested in various ways against the neoliberal, violent policies of the regime. At the forefront of this movement, one must mention the tireless struggles of the workforce at the cane sugar factory Haft-Tapeh, who have been calling for the privatization of factories for months, exposing gigantic corruption at private and state levels and making it a topic in society. In order to be able to implement their demands, they have spoken out in favor of a decision-making body for workers and council administrations through the workforce in factories. These efforts are supported by several international trade unions and workers’ organizations. they have spoken out in favor of a decision-making body for workers and council administrations through the workforce in factories. These efforts are supported by several international trade unions and workers’ organizations. they have spoken out in favor of a decision-making body for workers and council administrations through the workforce in factories. These efforts are supported by several international trade unions and workers’ organizations.
Contrary to these sensible demands, the ideologues of the capitalists of the regime repeatedly propose new senseless plans and alternatives in order to overcome the crisis and not least to outsmart the protesting workforce. But the Iranian working class has realized that overcoming these problems will not be solved by those who caused the crisis and under the guise of different names. She is no longer fooled by empty promises made by those in power. Trained through their historical experience, they also know that solutions to problems will not come about through – regardless of which – major powers and their interludes. Attachment and trust in international or regional powers are only understood as a probable giving away of our work values to them.
The aim of the great powers has never been to support the interests of the Iranian or international working classes, the working people and wage earners. Our alternative is a union and solidarity between workers and their allies in the cities and villages. Such a union of our ranks helps us to organize against other alternatives that support capitalism and reject social justice and worker participation.
We, as a working class, are widely dispersed. This problem warns us that in spite of selflessness and continuity of the struggle, but without serious and organized cooperation between all workers and wage earners, we will not be able to succeed against policies that run counter to workers’ interests fight and change the existing situation sustainably.
We have seen several times how our negotiations with the government, without our own independent workers’ organizations and representatives, repeatedly develop against our demands and needs and often deteriorate. In an economic situation where the poverty line for a working-class family is at least 12 million Tomans (… euros) – these minimum livelihood standards are even advocated by groups loyal to the government – and the needs of the state house of workers are estimated at 8-9 million Tomans the government reached an agreement on 8.2 million Tomans (… Euro). ( Toman, an Iranian currency that has lost it’s value and is being traded as 25000 Toman equals one US Dollar).
Our only option is to organize the individual production sectors internally in the regional and national organizations in order to break the spiral of repeated defeats. Without such a nationwide organization, our demands and our efforts in the labor dispute will remain fruitless.
We urgently need the formation of a council for cooperation between workers of all sectors and workforces, wage earners, teachers, retirees, women, students and the unemployed. This is not just one of the tasks among others, but it is the most important link in our self-organization in society. Without such a nationwide organization, we will not be able to enforce our demands. The establishment of the convergence between our scattered struggles and the desired increase in solidarity is our immediate and vital task.
The workers in Iran have the right to strike and the right to independent workers’ organizations.
The implementation of these demands and ways to freedom are in our hands!
April 26, 2021
The signatories of this joint declaration:
- Union of Tehran Bus Companies and the Surrounding Area
- Union of the workers of the Haft-Tapeh cane sugar factory
- Professional association for teachers in the city of Islamshahr
- Teachers’ Association in Gilan Province
- Teachers’ Association in the City of Marivan-Iranian Kurdistan
- Teachers’ Association in the city of Aligoodarz
- Professional Association of Teachers in Saghez City and Civilian Kurdistan
- The group of women activists (Bidarzani)
- Association of Pensioners
- Council of Iranian Pensioners
- Nationwide Association of Iranian Pensioners
- Association of Iranian Pensioners
- Coordinating committee in support of the establishment of workers’ organizations
- Committee in support of the establishment of workers’ organizations
- Dialog association of pensioners of the insurance company
Translated by Prison’s Dialogue / April 27, 2021