To: all worker’s unions and humanist organisations. Condemn the brutal Islamic regime’s attack on striking steelworkers

To: all worker’s unions and humanist organisations. Condemn the brutal Islamic regime’s attack on striking steelworkers. 31 arrested in night raids in Ahvaz city in Iran

Dear friends!

As you know about 38 days long strike of steelworkers in Iran, the workers have stood strongly and united over their legitimate demands and the authorities have refused to do anything about it except intimidation and more pressure on the workers.

On early morning of 17 December 2018, security forces raided homes of striking workers and arrested 31 of them. Two more workers were arrested later on at the workers rally to free the arrested workers. These arrests comes after similar raids on striking Haft Tapeh suagar cane workers in Shush city last month. Ali Nejati a member of Haft Tapeh workers union’s executive board who is over sixty years old is still in custody and despite having heart problem and other health problems he is not referred to hospital.  Sepideh Ghoilian a student reporter and Asal Mohmadi another student are also in custody because of supporting workers protests.

 Steel workers are protesting the unpaid salaries, management thefts and cheatings against the workers, job uncertainty because of company’s bankruptcy that been caused by these management policies.

Anyway on 16th December 2018, we heard about “unannounced curfew” in city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan province where special armed forces, their cars, water canon, and their buses were stationed in the city and mainly on rout of the protest of the striking workers.

Throughout 37 days of strike and protest the workers made it very clear that they are simply exercising their right as workers and never caused any damages, in fact they attracted massive popular support for their practices and demands. Many members of the public specially women from Ahvaz city joined the protest and supported the workers and their demands.

As the workers have been holding weekly workers’ public assembly and have decided collectively and openly about their actions, the authorities found it impossible to break the strike and unity of the workers. Also widespread national and international support for the workers motivated them even more.

Islamic Republic of Iran that has failed to break the workers unity and worries about further mobilisation of society and workers of other industries, has stepped up its pressure and brought in its Intelligence Protection Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Special Armed forces and plain clothed militia and the police.

Today, as soon as the arrest and “unannounced curfew” was published many workers, teachers and students organisations in Iran released statements and strongly condemned the oppression. But this is not enough. The steel workers urgently need international workers union’s supports.

We urge all the international workers organisations and humanitarian organisations to strongly condemn Islamic Republic of Iran and its brutal attacks against the striking workers. Raiding homes of steel workers who have been on strike for 38 days over some legitimate demands is nothing but aggression and brutality against workers and blunt violation of workers’ rights.

The Islamic Republic of Iran must know that it is not allowed to carry-out such “gang like” actions and that the workers, their families, and people of Iran are not alone in struggle for their rights.

Your support for arrested Ahvaz steel workers and also for Haft Tapeh suagar cane workers is important and urgently needed.

 Campaign to Free jailed workers in Iran (Free Them Now),

December 17, 2018

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