The TUC expresses deep solidarity with the workers of INSIG Ahvaz and the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Complex in the campaign for the realisation of their just and legitimate demands.
We support the nearly six-week-long strike of steelworkers in Iran, protesting against the failure of their employers to pay them for months at a time.
Workers at the Iran National Steel Industry Group (INSIG) factory in Ahvaz have been in dispute for over a year now with their private sector owners who have failed to fulfil their obligations to run the plant in Ahvaz at full capacity. Workers have been demanding the plant’s return to the public sector and strategic investment in order to ensure that it is profitable and sustainable.
The response of the Iranian authorities to the escalating industrial action and protests has been typically brutal. In the early hours of Monday 17th December, the security forces raided the homes of many of the strikers and arrested 31 of their leading representatives. A further ten strikers were detained in the hours that followed.
Consequently, the strikers have refused to meet with the governor of Khuzestan province and have announced that until all of the arrested workers are released, they will not enter into any negotiation.
The demands of the workers at INSIG Ahvaz and at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Complex, to reverse the tide of privatisation and implement the workforce demand for labour control of production, is backed by a large number of trade unions, workers organisations and social and political organisations, and is garnering ever increasing support in wider Iranian society.
The TUC calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately fulfil the following demands:
the release of all arrested workers and trade unionists;
the payment of all delayed and unpaid wages;
the removal of anti-riot police from the factory and surrounding area and the immediate ceasing of all measures designed to coerce the workforce;
the Iranian government to start meaningful negotiations with a view to return the factory to the public sector based on constitutional provisions covering the failure of privatised factories;
the Iranian government to recognise, implement and respect trade union rights based on ILO core conventions including ILO conventions 87 and 98.
The TUC, alongside the global trade union movement is watching closely!