Tag Archives: Isfahan

Call for Hunger Strike at Isfahan Steel Complex

Class struggle in Iran
Class struggle in Iran

RAHANA – Last week, a flier calling on contract workers to go on a hunger strike was distributed at the Isfahan Steel Complex.

Contract workers have suffered wage and benefit cuts since they became directly contracted by the factory. Currently, their wages and benefits are significantly below those of the company’s regular workers.

According to the Ad Hoc Council of Isfahan Steel Workers, following the distribution of the hunger strike flyer, the director made the tour of the plant and promised the unhappy workers that he would address their demands before the new year (March 21, 2010).

Meanwhile, the factory’s security made their own tour of the workshops, threatened the workers and told them their wages are not supposed to be equal to those of the regular workers of the factory.

Security officials asked the workers in charge of receiving and distribution of factory meals to identify the workers who were on hunger strike. The employees in charge of the locker rooms where the flyer had been distributed were summoned to the security office.

Following the promises made by the director, the situation has become more calm, and contract workers are waiting to see the outcome of his actions.

The contract workers, who were previously employed by private contractors, had high hopes when they were hired by the factory [on a contract basis], but most of them have suffered between 30 to 100 dollar wage reductions, and their overtime allowance has been limited to 45 hours. Their previous employers did not impose a limit on the number of overtime hours.

Translation by: RAHANA

From Persian2Engish

نارضایتی کارگران قرارداد مسقیم ذوب آهن اصفهان

جمعه , ۷ اسفند , ۱۳۸۸ @ ۴:۴۶ ب.ظ

اعتراض کارگران قرارداد مسقیم به اختلاف فاحش حقوق و مزایا با کارگران رسمی و مهم تر از آن کاهش حقوق و مزایا پس از تبدیل وضعیت از قرارداد با شرکت های پیمانکاری به قرارداد مستقیم با ذوب آهن است.

رهانا: هفته گذشته در کارخانه ذوب آهن اعلامیه هایی پخش شد که کارگران قرارداد مستقیم را به اعتصاب غذا فراخوانده بود. اعتراض این کارگران به اختلاف فاحش حقوق و مزایا با کارگران رسمی و مهم تر از آن کاهش حقوق و مزایا پس از تبدیل وضعیت از قرارداد با شرکت های پیمانکاری به قرارداد مستقیم با ذوب آهن بود.

به گزارش شورای موقت کارگران ذوب اهن اصفهان در پی این اقدام مدیرعامل ذوب آهن درسرکشی به قسمت های مختلف کارخانه با کارگران قرارداد مستقیم به گفتگو نشست وبه آنان قول بررسی خواسته های شان را تا آخر اسفند ماه داد.

از سوی دیگر به موازات این اقدام حراست و انتظامات کارخانه به گشت زنی در کارگاه ها پرداختند و در چندین کارگاه در گفتگو با کارگران به تهدید آنان پرداخته و عنوان کردند که قرار نیست کارگران قرارداد مستقیم از حقوق و مزایایی هم سطح با کارگران رسمی برخوردار شوند. آنان از کارگران مسئول غذا که به دریافت و توزیع غذای کارگران شیفت می پردازند نیز خواستند اسامی کارگرانی را که اعتصاب غذا می کنند به حراست گزارش دهند. در اقدامی دیگر مسئولان رختکن هایی که در آنها اعلامیه توزیع شده بود به حراست احضار شده و تحت فشار قرار گرفتند.

با توجه به قول مساعد مدیرعامل مبنی بر بررسی خواسته های این کارگران تا حد زیادی از التهابات کاسته شده و فعلا آنان منتظرند تا مدیرعامل جدید نتیجه بررسی هایش را اعلام کند. لازم به یادآوری است که قرارداد مستقیم بستن با کارگران شرکت های پیمانکاری در آستانه انتخابات آغاز شد و امیدهای زیادی را در بین آنان برانگیخت اما در وضعیت جدید حقوق اکثر این کارگران از سی الی صد هزار تومان کاهش یافته و سقف اضافه کاری که در شرکت ها نامحدود بود به ۴۵ ساعت محدود شده است.

Declaration on the formation of the Provisional Workers Council in Isfahan's Steel Company

Workers Council in Isfahan
Workers Council in Isfahan

Isfahan’s Steel Company is and has always been one of the largest industrial complexes in Iran.  Despite this, and although workers  have been involved in industrial action to improve their working conditions,  Iran’s Steel Company workers  have never benefited from the right to form any type of trade union , workers organisation…  to defend their wages and, to pursue their just rights and demands.  In the current situation, as a result of severe economic hardship and the uncertain future, at a time when workers in this complex face many backbreaking pressures, as a group of workers of Steel Company we have decided to take the very first steps in the direction of defending workers right and consolidating our dispersed ranks hereby announcing the formation of the Provisional Council of Isfahan’s Steel Company Workers.   Since this step (the formation of the council) was taken in conditions of underground work, it is not based upon workers’ elections.  That is why the council has given itself the title “provisional” however, as a body it is committed to hold free elections with the participation of all factory workers as soon as suitable conditions arise.  Until such time, this council will endeavor to defend the  rights  of  all workers in this complex and we will  keep fellow workers informed of all our decisions through statements.

The council presents its positions and views as follows: 

1 – The council considers all workers equal and alike.  It believes that both the obvious and hidden discriminations between official workers and workers under contract (those employed directly by the company under contract or through contractor companies) are initiated entirely by managers and decision makers and workers are not responsible for this.  The Council believes that the creation of such discriminations amongst workers is a deliberate policy to divide workers in this complex. 

2 – Council believes that the right to strike is an absolute right of the work force, and, in conditions where the company’s workers have not received their wages (for between two to six months) going on strike is the only means by which the workers can struggle for their demands.  Therefore the council states its solidarity with courageous workers of Ehyagostaran Espadan, Nasooz Azar, Isaargarane-hadid, Nasre Bonyad and all the workers who have gone on strike to fight for the payment of their unpaid wages.   

3 – The councils warns workers to be aware of the delays of official deadlines for payment of their wages and monthly bonuses, There is a  possibility that management is trying to  reduce or abolish monthly bonuses ; that is why workers have every right to go on hunger strike, white strike (working less and disrupting production lines) and finally strike. Such actions are just and legitimate.   

4 – Council finds Plant’s policies of blaming workers for all the severe hardships they face ,  especially when accidents causes workers death or severe injuries leading to  handicap as an inhumane policies and, declares that  the main reasons for safety failures are  severe working conditions for the workforce, worn off equipment, old  technologies and pressure and expedition that the management imposes upon workers to increase production . 

5 –At a time when the official line of poverty in urban areas is declared (by the state) to be 800 thousands Tomans, the council finds maximum income of 400 thousands Tomans per month an obvious oppression towards workers and their families and expects gradual, step by step annihilation of discriminations between official workers and reset of the work force.

 6 – The council believes Privatising the Steel Company complex will have terrible effects upon the workers’ living conditions and their labour and considers the reconstruction period for privatization as definite proof that showed the effects of this policy on workers’ income and conditions; this is an experience we, Iran Steel workers are experiencing every day.

 7 – Billions have been paid for expenses and hundred million Toman contracts made and spent on the  Steel Company Football Team during the last few years at a time when official workers are paid with delay and rest of the workforce has  incomes  below  the poverty line. The Council’s view is that such policies are outrageous.

 8 – Council considers company’s weekly ATISHKAR as a management source use for self flattery and exaggerated claims.  The claim that the company produced and supplied   the railroad for the National Rail Company – is a blatant lie and every worker here is aware of it.  The Council expects ATISHKAR’s content to include reports about workers’ payment conditions and their protests, covering all incidents that cause death and disability, announcing the names of workers dying at work and also monthly reports about work accidents.

 9 – Due to not having aboveboard activities the council asks all workers to create their spontaneous workers nucleuses all over the Steel Company and, it believes without such units formed by workers themselves they will not have a chance develop their struggles and advance in them.  Role of such units is bringing awareness, unity and solidarity among workers and electing leaders for their struggles.  Such units can be formed around team of friends, recreation groups, workers welfare boxes and so forth.

 Fellow workers! We shake your hands in solidarity.

  Provisional Council of Isfahan Steel Company – January 2010

27 December: Iran’s bloody Sunday

Mass protests rock Islamic Republic
Mass protests rock Islamic Republic

December 27 was the bloodiest and most violent convulsion in Iran since the June elections. Millions of ordinary Iranians came out onto the streets to use the Ashura ceremonies and mourning as a focal point of opposition protests. In every part of Iran security forces backed up by Basij militia and the revolutionary guard (Pasdaran) resorted to ever intensifying violence as swarms of protestors over-ran state-repressive forces. It is unclear how many have been killed and arrested at this time, the regime say that only 4 have been killed, whilst student websites and news feeds from Iran put the number around 15. ‘Reformist’ leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s nephew is among the dead. The official reason for these deaths have been accidents and murder by ‘uknown assailants’. The regime has admitted to arresting over 300 protestors yesterday, this number will undoubtedly be much greater.

Clashes took place in Shiraz, Isfahan, Ardebil, Arababad, Mashhad. Whilst Marshal Law was declared in Najaf-Abad, at least four have been killed in the city of Tabriz and the house of recently deceased Ayatollah Montazeri was the scene of heavy fighting in Qom.

Protests began in the morning around 10 am with heavy security presence on major streets, squares and transport links. In Tehran the supreme leader’s residence was surrounded by massed ranks of Pasdaran and police. Throughout the day chants against Khamanei, such as ‘this month is a month of blood!- Khamanei will be toppled’. A clear indication of how far the protest movement has come since June, not only is the regime fearful of a re-run of the election, but are now considerably worried that a revolution is underway. In Tehran clashes erupted at many religious sites as soon as people started to gather for the planned opposition protests. The fighting was intense, with security forces taking several defeats as demonstrators burnt police vehicles, stations, Basij posts and erected barricades. In a couple of instances police and Basij were arrested and detained by the people and three police stations in Tehran were briefly occupied by protestors.. Demonstrators also attacked the Saderat Bank in central Tehran, setting it on fire.

As the day wore on the security forces began to crack, the first division of the special forces refused orders to shoot protestors. There are many pictures and videos that show police retreating or being beaten back by protestors (some are in this report). There is also unconfirmed statements from sections of the army declaring that they will not be used to put down popular unrest. During the evening clashes erupted outside the IRIB headquarters with security forces firing tear gas and bullets into the crowds who responded with rocks and burning barricades. Later on there was fighting in and around Hospitals in central Tehran.

Following the protests several aides to opposition leaders have been arrested whilst injured protestors have been interviewed, beaten and arrested whilst in hospital, the many injured have had to endure interrogation with painful injuries. In response to this it has been reported that medical staff have been patching people up instead of admitting them to the already overcrowded wards. In many parts of Tehran residents opened their doors to the injured and exhausted demonstrators.

The Ashura protests saw a qualitative change in the protests, the people of Iran attacked and won street battles in Tehran, attacked a set fire to police stations and security forces vehicles, demonstrators arrested and detained many riot police and Basij throughout the day. Possibly more importantly the regime has undermined its own religious credibility by making martyrs on Ashura day. Neither side of the regime can now back down, and through this split the mass movement is breaking down the Islamic Republic. Many calls have come not just for the end of Khamanei’s rule, or Ahmadinejad’s government but for the end of the Islamic Republic itself. On the streets protestors have begun chanting ‘Independence, freedom, Iranian Republic’, a slogan which has been condemned by ‘reformist’ leader Mousavi as too radical. The Ashura protests have further underlined that the Islamic Republic is facing the greatest existential threat since its inception and the Iraq-Iran war.

Below are some videos of the protests:





16 Azar: The entire regime is the target!

“Mousavi is an excuse, the entire regime is the target”
“Mousavi is an excuse, the entire regime is the target”

The 56th anniversary of a murder of a student by the Shah’s security forces during Vice-president Nixon’s visit in 1953 may prove to be the last held under the heel of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Possibly millions of students, youth and workers took to the streets in protests against the regime and the barbaric repression since the rigged June elections. Though hard to confirm, today’s protests could be the biggest since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Protests have taken place in Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Arak, Karaj, Orumieh, Kerman, Rasht, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Kermanshah and Hamedan and there have been reports of soldiers protesting at Qom Airbase. Protestors carried Iranian flags that omitted the Allah sign showing that the movement is moving beyond the slogans of the June protests.

In preparation for these demonstrations the regime formed lines of police, Basij and Pasdaran around the universities, squares and monuments in the major cities. The government also attempted to limit internet access with up-to 50% of attempts to connect failing, however, the regime failed to stop the flood of information that is now on hundreds of blogs, twitter and news sites. The mobile phone network was also shut down in central Tehran and limited in other parts of the city. At one point the Basij were scene frantically searching computer rooms at Tehran Polytechnic University in an attempt to stop pictures and videos coming out. Protestors managed to organise the protests and relay information of road blocks etc through the internet and land lines in defiance of the government. Once again the Iranian youth has shown the world that the state cannot keep a lid on protests and unrest.

Repression and Resistance
Repression and Resistance

On the streets the state repressive forces backed up by militia assaulted and arrested protestors but were met with courage and defiance.

At Hamedan University two students were thrown from the second floor by Basij scum, reports indicate that both students have sustained severe injuries. There were also heavy clashes between students and security forces here. At the hospitals in Tehran police with dogs prevented injured protestors from entering, arrested and attacking people who looked like protestors. At Amir Kabir University students were savagely beaten by security forces, where a prominent student leader; Majid Tavakoli was arrested. At the Medical College in Tehran Basij thugs attempted to break up a demonstration beating several students, there were reports of some badly injured protestors at this demonstration. At the Polytechnic University students clashed with the police and managed to repel them for a time shouting “Marg Bar Khamanei” (Down with Khamanei!) as the focus of popular anger shifts from Ahmadinejad and onto the Supreme Leader and the entire Islamic Republic. At Razi University in Kermanshah militia and police had a massive presence but failed to stop the student demonstration. At Sanati University in Isfahan in Kermanshah student protests were attacked by security forces. Professors at Beheshti University joined with the 2,000 strong protest to scenes of massive cheering and chants of ‘Death to the Dictator’. In Kurdistan students burned images of Khomanei and Khamanei in the University, they were also protesting the murder of socialist fighter Ehsan Fattahian who was executed on the 11th November. There were protests and clashes at Azad Shahrkord University, Elm o Sanat University, Sharif University, Azad University of Mashhad, Azad University of Najafabad, Sanati University in Isfahan, Hormozgan University, University of Zanjan, Yasooj University and others. School students have also taken part in the demonstrations, at a high school for girls in Tehran they gathered and chanted slogans, the video is below.

There was heavy fighting across Tehran with students turning the tide against security forces and militia at times. Basij who were carrying Hezbollah flags were attacked and thrown out of Khaje-Nasir University by brave students. Outside Tehran University, the streets approaching Enghelab Square and Valiasr Street saw shots fired by security forces, it is not clear whether they were warning shots or fired into the crowd, some reports claim that some students have been shot. There were reports of security forces refusing to attack students and at times taking water from students who were calling for them to join the protests. It also seems that around Enghelab Square Basij abandoned their positions and vehicles which were swiftly used to form burning barricades by the youth. It has been reported that riot police attacked Basij who were attacking demonstrators. If this wavering from security forces and demonstrations from soldiers are confirmed then this could undermine the regimes confidence in its ability to suppress the protests and may possibly signal an acceleration of the regimes collapse.

Proving that the protests go far beyond the student movement, elderly women dodged bullets and tear gas to bring water, sandwhiches and first aid to the student demonstrators. Some were attacked by security forces, one women was beat savagely by Basij thugs. Below is the video of her after the attack:

Where fighting was taking place residents rushed to aid the students and young workers and many have formed voluntary medical groups, helping the injured into nearby homes and distributing water to crowds. Many workers joined the demonstrations after finishing work swelling the numbers in central Tehran and other cities.

Many students posting on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook have been asking where are the reformists? The mass movement has kept the colour of Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s presidential campaign yet it seems he has abandoned the movement he helped to stir up. As students chanted across Tehran “Mousavi is an excuse, the entire regime is the target” the reformists will have been made acutely aware that the movement is far beyond their control now.

Protests have continued on into the evening with sporadic clashes between protestors and police. It is unclear how many have been arrested today, though we expect it to be in the hundreds. The workers movement internationally must get serious in organising solidarity and demanding the immediate release of all of those who are in prison and secret detention sites. An analysis of today’s events and a wider report will be posted shortly.

Below are some videos from today’s protests: