Workers' Strikes Serve to Generate Hope in Iran
By: Association in Defense of Freedom in Iran (ADFI)
the workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar mill held a gathering On Thursday 10 Jan, 2019 at the location of the factory and insisted that they will continue their strike until their detained colleagues are freed and their wages are paid
Haft Tapeh sugar mill, located in Khuzestan province’s Shush City Haft Tapeh is Iran’s largest sugarcane factory and employs thousands of workers in Khuzestan
It’s worth mentioning that The workers of Haft Tapeh went on a month-long strike in November, demanding the payment of their overdue salaries and the removal of the company’s private owners, whose mismanagement and corrupt policies have caused the deterioration of work conditions for the factory’s workers.
During their protests, the workers of Haft Tapeh earned the support and respect of many communities and various segments of the Iranian society and international support such as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC, with 27 million members), the Trades Union Congress (TUS), Labor Start (Switzerland), Industrial Global Union (Switzerland), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW- England), Labor Unions of Italy, CGIL, CISL, UIL, and the United Road Transport Union (URTU- England).
The strike of Haft Tapeh also became strongly tied to the protests by the steel workers of Ahvaz, who had been striking for similar reasons
Fearing the strike would trigger protests in other parts of the country, the Iranian regime cracked down on the protesters, arresting several of the workers and taking them to prison.
Esmail Bakhshi, one of the representatives of the workers who was arrested and imprisoned by the Iranian regime’s security forces, recently published a detailed account of the tortures he was subjected to during his incarceration.
“After the torture was brought up, pressure against Esmail Bakhshi intensified and there is evidence that suggests that my client is under pressure and that there is a psychological environment against him to deny the torture,” his lawyer Farzaneh Zilani said today in an interview with an Iranian website.
The Iranian regime has resorted to similar measures against the steel workers of Ahvaz.
Iranian labor activist Ali Nejati who was detained on November 29 while the sugarcane workers were still on strike in the southern town of Shush. was recently sentenced to “disrupting public order” and “spreading propaganda” against the Iranian government. Ali Nejati’s family who visited him yesterday said that he had become thin and pale and that he was being kept in a crowded part of Shush Prison in the southern province of Khuzestan despite suffering from a serious heart condition.
“He has become extremely thin and pale. He was harassed and abused during interrogations without any considerations for his old age and health and was transferred to the hospital as a result,” the family said according to human rights sources.
“Mr. Nejati is suffering from a heart condition and the closed environment and crowded atmosphere including cigarette smoke is very dangerous for his health,” the family said adding that prison officials kept him in a closed environment despite the fact that according to the law, he had to be transferred to a less crowded prison.
The Iranian regime has resorted to similar measures against the steel workers of Ahvaz. On Dec 18 . 2018, at least 51 workers were arrested, mostly at their homes during raids after midnight, dragging workers out of their homes, but workers continued their strike.
The workers played a major role in countering the regime. Their strikes serve to generate hope in Iran’s society.
Association in Defense of Freedom in Iran (ADFI) is committed to defending Iranian individual rights and proud to provide legal and ethical support of their protests for freedom and democracy.
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