This is an urgent appeal on behalf of bus workers of Tehran and
their families. Following more than one month of protests and negotiations
with the government for some basic demands, such as, the introduction
of collective bargaining, the recognition of the union, and for
a pay increase, in the process of which the Islamic Republic threw
Mr Ossanlou and some other leaders of the Syndicate into jail, the
bus workers called for strike on Saturday 28 January. This action
was met with a brutal assault by the government, several hundred
workers were arrested, (the exact number is not known, but the figure
is close to 700) In several instances when the security forces were
unable to find the workers themselves, they arrested the worker’s
wives and their kids. Many drivers have been beaten up. Mr. Salimi’s
(a syndicate leader) young kids were take to jail and beaten up
by the security forces.
I would like to ask for your support and solidarity. We should not
let 17000 bus workers and their families to suffer alone in hardship.
They need your help. We Date: 30 January,
should work together for the release of jailed workers, to help
them win their demands and to condemn this atrocity by the Islamic
Republic of Iran.
Chair of Organisation for Women’s Liberation- Iran
The following is an appeal by the
striking bus workers of Tehran to world labour and progressive organisations
for a massive international support.
Issue date: 28/1/2006
To workers, all trade unions and progressive organisations of the
Condemn the attack on our strike
On behalf of the 17,000 workers and employees of Tehran and Suburbs
Vahed Bus Company, we would like to inform you, the labour organisations
of the world and all those who are distressed by the violation of
the most evident rights of people, that today, 28th January, our
all-out strike met the unprecedented assault of the security forces
of the Islamic Republic.
They raided our homes from the night before; they even took our
young kids to prison. They arrested a large number of people - the
exact figure for which we still don’t have, but certainly over several
hundred. They forced some of our colleagues to drive the buses,
by beating them up and threatening them. They enlisted the help
of drivers from the armed forces, and set upon us thousands of police
and security officers – both uniformed and plain clothed – in order
to smash our strike. This is the situation we are in.
What was the strike for? It was for the release of Mr Ossanlou
and the other leaders of the Syndicate, thrown into jail for no
reason at all by bullying. It was for the introduction of collective
bargaining, for the recognition of the union, for a pay increase,
and so on. Can you believe it that for such demands they would launch
such a brutal and massive war on us bus workers?
This is what the Islamic Republic did, and we have no choice but
to continue our struggle with even greater resolve and unity. We
ask you our colleagues and fellow workers throughout the world,
you who can have your own unions and organisations, to condemn this
action of the Iranian state. We trust that you will call for the
immediate and unconditional release of all the detainees, for the
recognition of our union and for the meeting of our demands. We
expect that you will condemn the assault on our strike and demand
the prosecution and punishment of all those who stormed workers’
We hereby thank all those trade unions and organisations who have
supported our struggles. We have a hard and long battle ahead of
us and urge you to continue your support.
Syndicate of Workers and Employees of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed