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Iran: Thousands of hungry workers go on strike

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | other press author Monday October 15, 2007 10:48author by Georgi Chicherin Report this post to the editors

In the story below Hamid Tehrani gives an update on the situation of the sugar cane workers on strike in Shoush in Iran. Full text at the link at the end of this article.

Thousands of unpaid Haft Tapeh sugar cane factory workers in Shoush in the Khuzestan province in Iran started a strike last week. Government sent security forces to repress the workers but strike continues. Several bloggers covered this event, and other related stories of difficult conditions of labor activists. Kaargar (means worker) says[Fa] that thousands of Haft Tapeh sugar cane factory in Khouzestan province started strike on Saturday 27th October. The blog adds that one of the upaid workers' slogan was “Haftapeh workers are hungry”. The blogger adds the number of workers was around 3000 and they wanted to demonstrate in front of governor's office but police stopped them.
Striking Workers In Shoush.
Striking Workers In Shoush.

On the fourth day of striking and demonstrating, some other workers from Dezfoul sugar can factory who had lost their jobs, joined the Haft Tapeh workers. The workers chanted, ‘our salary is our absolute right' (the Iranian government's slogan is ‘nuclear energy is our absolute right').

Kaargar adds [Fa] that security forces attacked several workers and injured 10 of them. A worker activist, Ferydoun Nikofard, was arrested at his home.


Other reports:

Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane workers in southern Iran go on strike

Workers at the state-owned Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Plantation and Industry Company have gone on strike demanding payment of several months' unpaid wages. They have gathered in front of the Governor's Office in Shush city, in Khuzestan province (southern Iran), and say that they will stay on strike until their demands are met.

The workers say that due to the Iranian government's wrong policies they have had to endure many problems and have been forced to go on strike 16 times over the past two years. One of the workers' main problems has been the delay in getting their wages paid.

http://www.iwsn.org/labour/haft-tapeh-strike-051007.htm

Iran: "Haft Tapeh workers are starving", Ahwazi workers' slogan

Three thousand workers from the Haft Tapeh (Saba atlal) Sugar Cane Company held demonstrations outside the Khuzestan provincial governor's office in Shoush city (Susa) on Saturday demanding their wages.A worker believes that the currently the company management policy is "exhausting labours and encouraging them to leave the company in order to possess their lands."

The workers intend to continue their peaceful demonstrations outside the governor's office.

http://www.ahwaz.org.uk/2007/10/iran-haft-tapeh-workers....html

Related Link: http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/10/07/iran-thousands-of-hungry-workers-go-on-strike/
author by Lev Cpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 02:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The sources for this story are:

(1) http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/10/07/iran-thous...rike/

Global Voices is a Harvard Law School project founded by Ethan Zuckerman whose wife is a Reform rabbi who openly supports Israel and it’s Zionist agenda.

http://globalvoicesonline.org/about/

Harvard University is playing a major part in CIA and NSA plans to flood the world with propaganda. Propaganda in support of the US and Israel naturally.

http://www.cia-on-campus.org/harvard.edu/harvard.html

(2) http://www.ahwaz.org.uk/2007/10/iran-haft-tapeh-workers....html

This is a group claiming to represent a minority group of Arabs inside Iran- Iran being a non-Arab country. They give their contact address as: British ahwazi friendship society, P.O Box 2397, London, W8 4ZS, UK. Once again, another London PO Box group behind an anti-Iranian story.

The Ahwazi article quotes an interview by Radio Fardo with an Ahwazi worker as it’s source. Oddly enough Radio Fardo is located at 800 West El Camino Real, Suite 180, Mountain View, California, 94040, USA.

In fact the story as titled here on Indymedia Ireland is inaccurate. “Thousands of hungry workers go on strike.” Very emotive and very inaccurate. Even the Fardo site says only, “After months of wage ……. workers are struggling to feed their families and pay for housing.” It doesn’t say they are “Hungry Workers”. The use of such emotion and misleading language to head a story that is based on most dubious sources is not becoming a media site claiming to be independent.

Considering the millions of dollars the US is spending of groups inside and outside of Iran fostering dissent and spreading propaganda to pave the way for a US/British/Israeli attack on Iran, perhaps readers should consider taking a large spoon of salt before reading such stories exposing Iran.

author by Lev Cpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 02:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excuse me I forgot one of the sources given for the above story.

The last is:

(3) http://www.iwsn.org/labour/haft-tapeh-strike-051007.htm

Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network, BM IWSN, London WC1N 3XX. The "BM IWSN" part is a PO Box...Surprise!

Server located at 74.52.142.148, Theplanet.com Internet Services Inc, Dallas Texas USA.
Registrant Name: John Peterson, PO Box 4244, Saint Paul, Mn, USA.

Interesting!!!! More salt anyone?

author by Gwenpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 02:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I looked into that very informative information a bit deeper and I see the Iranians Workers Movement shares a PO Box, a server in Texas (the one you show above) and the same registrant (the one you show above) with a group sponsored by British Labour MP, John McDonnell.

This is a group who published the letters from the IWM to Chavez, asking him to cancel his visit to Iran. It's a small world......

So The Hands Off Venezuela Campaign shares something in common with the Hands off People of Iran and other campaigns who are quite inexplicable mirroring US foreign policy. But then it is sponsored by a British Labour Party MP and other stooges.

Did you all hear that it was revealed today via information under the Freedom of Information Act, that British police found no fingerprints on the knife used to Professor David Kelly to 'commit suicide.'

This also happened under a British Labour Party seeking justification for attacking Iraq. Don't you think they would set up phoney groups to justify attacking Iran?

John McDonnell MP
John McDonnell MP

author by Shivpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 02:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a good article on links between the CIA/NSA and the Berkman centre at Harvard Law, where Ethan Zuckerman set up his group.

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cybercon98/wcm/martin.html

author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is from Infoshop the Anarchist Collective:

More than 2000 workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Factory continued their protests against non-payment for the second day on September 30, 2007 by blocking one of the main roads in Shoush. According to the reports law enforcement and security forces were present at the scene but did not interfere. One of the workers stated that unlike the previous protests this time the protesters are determined to continue with the rallies until their demands are met.

Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Factory has staged numerous rallies to demand their rights in the past seven months but each protest has ended with the interference of management and promises which usually are not fulfilled.


http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=2007ira...rkers


On 25 August, workers at Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company sent a letter to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) informing them that if the authorities did not respond to their demands for payment, they will resume industrial action. They had staged strike action on 11 July. A labour activist said: "We have held 15 strikes since the beginning of the last year, involving thousands of workers and clerks at this company, but each time the authorities failed to abide by their pledge to solve the problems."

Worker demands at the sugar company include:
- the payment of all salaries in arrears
- an end to the sale of foreign sugar on the Iranian market by "mafia" groups
- the right to labour representation
- a rise in salaries to reflect the rising cost of living brought about by poor weather
- right for workers to participate in the election of workers' representatives
- retirement of those workers who have reached retirement age
- provision of adequate safety equipment
- dismissing the company's board of directors
- ending threats to workers.


http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=2007100...64525

author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To prevent any confusion this is what the Ahwazis stand for:

We do not support separatism and oppose any invasion of Iran by foreign forces.

We condemn all forms of terrorism and have no links to any armed group.

We believe that through national non-violent civil disobedience supported by global solidarity, the people of Ahwaz and the rest of Iran can build a democratic and tolerant Iran where no-one is subject to persecution, racism or oppression on the grounds of race, religion, language or gender.

We uphold the notion of Iran as a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country and believe that decentralisation, federalism and regional autonomy is essential to democracy in Iran.

If you have any queries, email: info@ahwaz.org.uk

Tel: +44 (0)795 855 3215


author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 13:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is a report from the Trotskyist In Defence Of Marxism site. Like the Anarchist Infoshop they belive the reports and give support to the striking workers.

In an open letter to the International Labour Organisation the workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane say that they have no right to form a trade union and have had no official representative for a year. Some of the workers who have been following up these issues have been victimised and threatened with the sack. During the past few days four workers have been intimidated in this way.

Related Link: http://www.marxist.com/haft-tapeh-sugar-cane-workers-iran051007.htm
author by Hackerpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors


You have just quoted ver batum the exact same statement that was posted on the Anarchist site.

The story was posted on theses sites as they are host sites. They are also prone to zealousness when harbouring solidarity with what they see as persecuted communists/anarchists etc etc. A flaw that has been exploited quite anamorphously in the past. The run up to Iraq springs to mind

A secular democratic Iran is desirable but not if it means waking in step with western imperialists who are purely after its resources. This arguement is old hat and I'm quite sure the Indy collective are suffering a little Iran fatigue such has been the intensity of anti Iranian propaganda that has flooded the site in recent times. If you wish to add your name to it, so be it.

But stories like these, under the circumstances will be taken with a pinch the pinch of salt they deserve and that has been pointed out on other threads as well.

author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its obvious to any rational honest person that this strike is taking place. Its widely reported accepted by political organisations and the only ones challenging it are anonymous trolls on Indymedia like hacker.

Why is it that supposed socialists oppose workers rights in Iran?

author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Guerilla News Network also accepts tthis story as genuine and carries it.

Related Link: http://www.guerrillanews.com/articles/3329/Labor_News_Roundup
author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 14:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

LabourStart also carries the stories about these striking workers.

LabourStart is an online news service maintained by a global network of volunteers which aims to serve the international trade union movement by collecting and disseminating information -- and by assisting unions in campaigning and other ways.

Its features include daily labour news links in more than 20 languages and a news syndication service used by more than over 700 trade union websites. News is collected from mainstream, trade union, and alternative news sources by a network of over 500 volunteer correspondents based on every continent.


Heres a list of some of LabourStarts 97 correspondents

Amin Kazemi: Amin is the International Organiser of Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network (IWSN) and the European representative of Workers' Action Committee (Iran). [stories] [email]

Ana Cernov: Ana works for Instituto Observatório Social, a NGO created by the CUT (biggest Brazilian Central Union), that concentrates in developing research and making its results public, so that union leaders can have accurate information to plan action and also to negotiate with companies. [stories] [email]

Averlon Toussaint: Averlon works in the Information Unit of the ILO Subregional office for the Caribbean, in Trinidad. [stories] [email]

Bojan Stanislavski: Bojan is a vice-chief-editor of the Polish trade-union magazine "New Popular Weekly" which is the only ``nation-wide trade union magazine in the country. [

Acharya Buddhi Ram: Buddhi works for the Nepalese national trade union center, GEFONT, and is involved with the websites of GEFONT and Labour Nepal.

Charles Arthur: Writer and researcher specialising in the politics and economics of Haiti as well as covering other Caribbean countries for Latinamerica Press amongst others. He is also part-time director of the activist Haiti Support Group based in London, UK. [

Dave Smith: Dave Smith is Director of Communications, National Union of Government and Federated Workers of Trinidad and Tobago. [stories] [email]

Eric Lee: Founding editor of LabourStart. Author of The Labour Movement and the Internet: The New Internationalism, published by Pluto Press in 1996. For more information visit http://www.ericlee.info.

Eyup Ozer: Eyup is a university student and a member of the Social Rights Association in Turkey, which produces a monthly report about Social Rights with a focus on Labor Rights. It collects news from every newspaper, website and trade unions on a daily basis, publishing some of the news on its website (in Turkish only).

Gerard Kelly: Gerard works for Justice for Colombia, a UK based organisation strongly linked to the trade union movement. [stories] [email]

Ian Allinson: Amicus NEC member from the Electrical Engineering, Electronics & IT industrial sector. Senior Amicus rep at Fujitsu in Manchester. Chair of Amicus 9827 Greater Manchester IT Branch (http://www.ourunion.org.uk)

Masood Farahmand: Masood works with the Iran Labour Watch website.

Jawad Qasrawi: Jawad works on Hazards, the health and safety magazine. Check out its website, which won the Labour Website of the Year award a couple of years back -- http://www.hazards.org

Related Link: http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/show_news.pl?country=Iran
author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Even the Sugar Industry News carries the story. Why would they publish a false story? See details below:

Sugar factory workers in Iran protest non-payment of wages.

Iran: Sugar cane factory workers began their 8th day of strike

Related Link: http://www.sugartech.co.za/news/index.php
author by Shahla Daneshfarpublication date Tue Oct 16, 2007 17:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An appeal for support from the WPI:

Dear comrades;

I write to inform you that 4000 workers of Haft-tape Sugar Factory, in Shoush have started a strike since September 29 because their wages have not been paid for three months. The workers form picket lines and demonstrate in front of the factory and the governorship of Shoush everyday; they demand their wages. So far they have not received any response. Unpaid wages is a serious problem that these workers face. On other occasions workers could acquire some of their wages and benefits through struggles and strikes. The workers also demand freedom of expression and they request news coverage of their protests in state media.

The police and Special Forces continuously assault haft-tape workers. The leaders of the protests are detained and are perpetually threatened. However, Haft-tape workers have announced that they would continue their struggle until acquiring their demands. Haft-tape workers are in need of massive international support.

Shahla Daneshfar

Coordinator of the International Labor Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran


Full text of letter at:

http://www.kargaran.org/international%20labor%20solidar...h.htm

author by Georgi Chicherinpublication date Sat Nov 17, 2007 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to a report by the Committee in Defense of Mahmoud Salehi, the two representatives of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Factory have now been released on 10 million toman (about $10,000) bail for each. Mr. Ghorban Alipour was released on November 15th and Mohammad Heydari Mehr was released on November 14th. These labour activists have been charged with “acting against national security”, “acting against the establishment” and “conducting interviews with foreign radios and media”.

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