You can read 9 more articles this month
IRANIAN rail workers are occupying a railway building in the north-western city of Tabriz during strike action demanding the payment of withheld wages and union recognition.
Maintenance workers in Azerbaijan province, who have not been paid since April, refused to start work on Thursday, having stayed in the railway’s offices overnight.
They continued their protest yesterday against non-payment of wages, the lowering of the skill index rating for their work and a lack of effective mechanisms to respond to their workplace concerns and demands.
The Railway Development Company covers the design and construction of Iran’s rail infrastructure, including stations, signalling and communication systems, as well as its repair, maintenance and continued management.
According to an Iranian Labour News Agency report, workers at the maintenance department of the company occupied the railway station regional headquarters in Tabriz on Wednesday.
They are demanding payment of outstanding wages and for management to address their grievances and demands.
One of the workers explained: “We are contract workers. Due to the severity of our jobs, our insurance is undertaken from day one. However, the insurance payment by the employer is inadequate and doesn’t reflect the severity of our tasks.
“The employers have reduced the severity index of our job from 10 to seven. This has a direct impact on the amount the company pays towards insurance for workers.”
Most rail workers in Azerbaijan province have been agency staff for about a decade. They have taken their grievances to the authorities in Tehran, but have not been paid since April.
Navid Shomali, international secretary of the communist Tudeh Party of Iran, told the Star that the action was just one example of the situation in many Iranian workplaces.
“The regime considers the trade unions illegal and only allows tame and pro-management Islamic labour councils in order to enforce control over the workplaces.
“However, the economic crisis resulting from the failed policies of the regime has meant that workers are increasingly turning to strikes, protests and the downing of their tools.
“In recent months, there have been reports of nearly 500 mass industrial actions in Iran, covering various sectors of the manufacturing industries.”
Strikes are illegal in Iran, but the Tudeh Party called on workers to join “independent and genuine trade unions” and demanded that the government implement international labour conventions.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.