[Marxism] Ongoing strikes and women's struggles in Iran

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Fri Mar 9 23:26:41 MST 2018


>From the Alliance of Middle East Socialists

March 8, 2018

Ten weeks after a wave of nationwide popular demonstration called for the
overthrow of the Iranian regime and an end to its military intervention in
the region,  the  uprising is continuing in a different form:  Multiple
labor strikes, labor actions,  women’s protests against the compulsory
hijab and other discriminatory laws,  actions by families of political
prisoners,  Sufi Dervishes, and  environmental protests.  The state has
also stiffened its crackdown on women activists, workers, environmental
activists and Sufis.   Several detainees,  including a professor and
environmental activist, Kavous Seyed Emami,   a Sufi Dervish, Mohammad
Raji,  and  young protesters such as Sina Ghanbari and Vahid Heydari   have
been killed in state custody, and their deaths have been attributed to
 “committing suicide.”

In this article, I would like to focus on labor protests, women’s protests,
and ways in which international socialists and progressives might be able
to  express their solidarity with them.

*I. Labor Protests/Strikes Everywhere*

Currently various labor protests and strikes in steel, sugarcane, oil and
petrochemicals, machinery  production as well as telecommunications,
railways,  construction, transportation,  education, healthcare, municipal
services,  and carrying of cargo (by porters) are taking place on a daily
basis.    The protests also involve retirees,  the young unemployed,  and
the disabled.

These labor actions are mostly demanding the payment of back wages and
benefits (anywhere from one month to two years)  and oppose the lack of job
security in an economy in which the majority of those employed are
contract-employees with few or no benefits.   The employers are mostly
either directly part of the state and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
and other parastatal foundations, or indirectly related to the state in the
form of  contractors.

The  protests have mostly taken place in the province of Khuzestan in the
south.  Khuzestan is one of Iran’s  industrial centers,  has a majority
Arab population and has been experiencing severe environmental problems
related to  the drying up of bodies of water and marshes caused by
government policies aimed at maximizing short-term profits and the
monopolization of resources for the capital and the provinces of Central
Iran.     Strikes and labor protests are also taking place in the provinces
of Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Lorestan, Isfahan, Fars, Markazi and Tehran as
well as others.

The most prominent strikes are currently the following:

   1. National Steel strike in Ahvaz, Khuzestan over the non-payment of
   wages/benefits involves 4000 workers and is in its seventeenth day.   On
   Thursday, March 1,  security police attacked the homes of ten workers,
   arrested them for “illegal” protest activities and later set a $10,000 bail
   for each.  The strikers have been marching around the city of Ahvaz  to
   demand their release and have been joined by their wives and other family
   members at a protest in front of the state house.
   2. The Haft-Tapeh Sugarcane strike in Khuzestan over the non-payment of
   wages/benefits and the precarious conditions of contract workers and day
   laborers. This strike also demands the legalization of independent unions.
     It involves several thousand workers,  including retirees and has faced
   multiple attacks by security forces as well as arrests of workers.  The
   Haft Tapeh workers have been some of the most militant during the past
   several years.
   3. The Hepco machine workers’ strike in Arak, Central Province, over the
   non-payment of wages/benefits, massive lay offs (reducing the number of
   employees from 4000 to 1000) and a major cut in production....

*II.  How to Express Solidarity with Iranian Labor and Women’s Struggles?*

For those socialists and progressives who wish to express their solidarity
with these struggles, while also opposing any imperialist intervention in
Iran, here are some ways in which you can make a difference:

   1. If you know someone who speaks Persian, ask them to help you follow
    the website of the  *Free Union of Iranian Workers*  which has  been
   the best at reporting current labor struggles there.   Go to
   http://ettehad-e.com/

You can also go to the weblog of the *Association of Electrical and Metal
Workers of Kermanshah*:  anjomanbfk.blogfa.com

or the website of the *Tehran Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate*

http://vahedsyndica.com/



You can also contact the *International Alliance in Support of Workers in
Iran* which is an organization of socialist and labor activists based in
Canada:

Read full article here:

https://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/iran-ongoing-labor-strikes-womens-protests-and-ideas-for-international-solidarity/



-- 
*“How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone
willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause? Such a fine
sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us
thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?” *Sophie Scholl,
executed by the Nazis 2/22/1943. She was 21 years old.
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook



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