Tag Archives: Osanloo

May Day statement in support of workers in Iran

Over the last year workers in Iran have struggled on several fronts. The subsidy cuts coupled with the crisis in world capitalism are driving living standards down for the majority of Iranians. Basic food stuffs are rising in price at a phenomenal rate, with bread rising a massive 25% and unsubsidised fuel increasing 7 fold. This is in a country with the third largest oil reserves in the world and the necessary refining abilities to produce cheap and affordable fuel for the entire population. The sanctions regime continues to undermine Iranian industry, robbing many workers of their jobs whilst the elite continue to amass great wealth. We stand with the Iranian working class fighting austerity and call for an end to all sanctions. We also call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.

 

There have been important centres of working class resistance where the working class has shown its strength. At the Alborz tyre factory in Iran over 800 workers have held protests outside of the presidential office after 9 months of unpaid wages. There has been a recurring struggle over wages being withheld on a regular basis since privatisation of the factory in 1991.

 

The state-run Haft Tapeh sugar cane factory workers have faced consistent repression and attempts to crush their union. Ali Nejati, the President of the Union, is in prison and in ill health facing further charges of endangering national security. This continued repression, failure to pay wages and the refusal of the management to allow sacked workers to return have forced workers to down tools and strike several times over the last 12 months.

 

The strikes in the Petrochemical industry starting on March 19 at the Imam Port complex were contagious and spread across the industry. The initial demands focused on ending the current contract system that offers only precarious work and little security. Thousands of workers have been on strike demanding the introduction of the 2005 directives on hiring.

 

At the Pars Paper Company over a thousand of workers struck in defence of 60 laid off workers who had been at the company for over 10 years. In Qazvin workers at multiple textile plants have struck against unpaid wages, with some workers going unpaid for over a year. They were also joined by workers from the city’s Ziaran slaughterhouse who have unpaid wage claims going back two years.

 

At Iran Khodro the overworked yet militant workforce has continued to be a beacon of resistance. In January 4 workers were killed and 13 injured as a worker who was ill and tired after repeated back-to-back shifts collapsed at the wheel of the truck he was driving. Workers immediately demonstrated and called on the CEO to resign. Scuffles broke out between security and revolutionary guards.

 

The protest movement that erupted in 2009 was savagely put down by the security forces with violence not witnessed since 1999. Many leaders and activists remain in jail, many have fled and gone underground and hundreds have been murdered. Yet flickers of open defiance continue and below the surface the Iranian masses have rejected the theocratic regime. It is only a matter of time until mass action will threaten the existence of the Islamic Republic.

 

The uprisings in the region are a nightmare vision of the future for the regime as the revolts creep closer to the border. The imperialists have also suffered defeats, with Mubarak, a lynchpin of their domination, falling along with Tunisia’s Ben Ali. Yemen’s Saleh is soon to go. In this chaotic atmosphere the war threat has increased as we must not rule out further military action by the imperialists to demonstrate their power and reassert political domination. As part of threatening war with Iran, Saudi troops have gone in to suppress the people in Bahrain. This is what the intervention in Libya is about: not protecting civilians. The current interventions in the region must end and there must be no attack on Iran.

 

Hands Off the People of Iran reiterates our commitment to oppose the war threat and sanctions whilst supporting the struggle against the theocratic regime.



Hands Off the People of Iran Steering Committee

Free Mansour Osanloo Now! Interview with Parvaneh Osanloo

Free Osanlou NOW!
Free Osanlou NOW!

On 23 June security agents of the Iranian regime attacked Zoya Samadi, Mansour Osanloo’s daughter-in-law. Because of this attack Zoya Samadi sustained various injuries and subsequently had a miscarriage. Mansour Osanloo, the leader of the Vahed Bus Company drivers, is currently in prison because of his involvement in the struggles of the Tehran bus drivers to set up a trade union and defend their jobs and working conditions. The following is HRANA’s interview with Parvaneh Osanloo, Mansour’s wife, about the attack.

HRANA: Mrs Osanloo, there has been a news report published about an attack on your daughter-in-law. Is this true?
PO: Unfortunately, yes.
HRANA: Is there a precedent for this type of incident?
PO: Up until now my daughter-in-law has met Mr Osanloo just once, which was on her engagement night. But from the day she became connected with us, in addition to many nuisance phone calls and occasional threats against her, a few months ago they even pulled a gun (Colt) on her!!
We complained to the court about this but this issue was not followed up.
HRANA: Can you explain the details of this incident to us?
PO: Yes, my daughter-in-law is an engineer and in employment. Because of the harassment that she has been subjected to she is always either forced to use a taxi agency, with its soaring costs, or we take her to her destination. But on Wednesday (June 23), it just so happened that she was using public transport and the metro to go to work.
When my young daughter-in-law got off the train at Tarasht station, so that passengers can get on and off, she was attacked by a number of agents. They pulled her hair from behind and pulled her down on to the ground. My daughter-in-law became aware as to why they were doing this and, while calling out that she was Mansour Osanloo’s daughter-in-law, began shouting to people for help. They, according to what they know of Mr Osanloo, were looking on in shock, and before any reaction [from anyone] the agents had blindfolded and muzzled her and transferred her to an unknown location.
There, while leaning her against the wall, they began to beat her …
HRANA: Do the signs of the beating show?
PO: Yes, absolutely; … during the beating her gums and teeth were severely injured. On that Wednesday, after she reached home, she had nausea and even vomited a few times. Last night she had a nose bleed and we were forced to take her to the doctor and have an MRI scan.
HRANA: What can be the reason for this inhuman and illegal incident?
PO: After her abduction the agents placed a ‘commitment form’ in front of her, stating that if Osanloo is released then you must guarantee that he does not engage in any activity, and that after his release he will leave the country with his family!
I do not understand what the meaning of these measures is; whether we leave the country or not has nothing to do with anyone …

HRANA: What’s your assessment of this incident?

PO: Frankly, I’m actuallyanswerable to my daughter-in-law’s family. They [the agents] are playing with the reputation of our family. Why should Mansour Osanloo’s daughter-in-law pay the penalty for her father-in-law’s activities? And a daughter-in-law who has only met Osanloo once. He has himself been in prison for three years and is paying the penalty for his activities. I mean that he has stood by all his [beliefs]. Why don’t they leave our family alone?
HRANA: What is Mr. Mansour Osanloo’s situation in prison?

PO: Mr Osanloo’s situation is as bad as ever. He has recently been transferred to … Rejaii Shahr prison, where some of the detainees of the events after the elections are held.
Physically he still has pain in his back and eye and, of course, his heart condition is still there. So far the medical examiner has issued a certificate about his heart condition three times and prohibited his stay in prison, with its bad environment. But unfortunately the authorities don’t pay any attention to this.
HRANA: Finally, do you have anything else you would like to add?
PO: There is a lot to say but nobody who listens to us. But I would like to know where in the world an innocent person and the family of a prisoner are persecuted in this way?
HRANA: Thank you for your time.
Translation: Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network