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Letter of Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB)
to Hassan Rouhani, President of Islamic Republic of Iran
Thu 8 10 2020

oegb_wolfgang-kazian.jpg
Dr.Hassan Rouhani

Honorable President of Islamic

Republic of Iran

Pasteur St., Pasteur Sq., Tehran

Islamic Republic of IRAN


2020/tv 39322 tanja.vicas@oegb.at 29.09.2020

Dear Mr. President,

We, at the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), support the latest wave of strikes in Iranian companies in which workers and their often-unrecognised unions are demanding "bread, work and freedom" because of the increasing poverty in the country.

The workers of the agro-industrial complex of "Haft Tappeh" in the province of Khouzestan in southwest Iran have been on strike for several months due to wage arrears and also to protest the repeated arrests of their strike leaders, such as trade unionist Ismail Bakhshi among many others.

The striking workers have also been receiving growing support from members of civil society — the journalist, Sepideh Gholiyan, who has also been taken into custody for showing her solidarity, is a prime example.

As you may well know, these arrests are in violation of ILO (International Labour Organisation) fundamental

Convention 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise.

Approximately 30 large companies not only from the energy sector, a key sector of the state, but also from the largest sugar factory in the country are now on strike in Iran and the government has been trying to prevent the protests by all means available.

The privatisation of these large, formerly state-owned companies has led to mismanagement and to a „selected few" who have enriched themselves at the expense of the general public and the workers.

In the last decade, trade unionists and the working people of Iran have borne witness to or experienced corruption, repression, intimidation, threats and in some cases the torture of their colleagues and families by employers and by the state.

The striking workers demand the re-nationalisation of large, formerly state-owned companies, the reinstatement of laid-off workers, an end to police repression against workers' organisations, the payment of overdue wages and benefits as well as the right to form independent unions.

We, at ÖGB strongly urge the authorities to release trade unionist Ismael Bakhshi and journalist Sepideh Gholiyan as well as to engage in a meaningful and authentic social dialogue in order to contribute to not only the economic but also to the social peace of your country.

Sincerely,

Wolfgang Katzian

President, ÖGB

Cc: Mohammad Shariatmadari, Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, Chief of Justice

ÖGB

Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund




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Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran-Austria
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