Human Rights, Solidarity with Workers

IIWU: Report on Scaled-Back Production, Closures and Layoffs in Iran’s Industries

Iranian Independent Workers’ Union (IIWU): Report on massively scaled back production, closures and layoffs in industrial moulds (Iran Khodro), Mammut Diesel (SCANIA) and Jam-Saz vehicle light manufacturer

The following report was published by IIWU (in Farsi) on 31 October 2012:

A massive wave of closures, layoffs and increased pressures has slammed workers who have yet not been fired, unquestionably endangering the lives of millions of working families.  Under such circumstances as have been imposed on workers in Iran, and in addition to the recent introduction of a new anti-labourer amendment to the existing labour law, rumours have run rampant in the past few days: that 35 years of service will be considered the new basis for retirement; that unemployment insurance is to be reduced to 55 percent of the wage, with an additional 37,000 touman allocated for dependents (there are indications that these cuts have already been implemented in some places); and that the age of retirement is to be increased to 65.

As a result of plundering and looting, the Social Security Institute’s Social Security Fund, which belongs to the workers, has gone bankrupt. They plan to compensate for the plundering and looting of the fund and its bankruptcy by enforcing an increase in the age of retirement and other measures, such as cutting unemployment benefits and establishing 35 years of service as the basis for retirement, on the shoulders of millions of workers who are already going to work and to bed on an empty stomach, while the closures of factories push thousands more of them and their families to the brink of destruction.

There is no doubt that the Iranian capitalists will not succeed in enforcing any of these anti-labourer laws, and in response to this situation, the Iranian working class, with their national and mass protests, will rise to defend their livelihoods and existence.

The following report is one of a number of reports that the Iranian Independent Workers’ Union publishes based on interviews with workers from all corners of Iran regarding scaled back production, closures, layoffs, and increased pressures on employed workers. The first in this collection was a report on KavehIndustrialCity, one the largest of its kind in Iran, which was published by the Union on the 27th of October 2012. The following report is from 3 factories in the Tehran and Alborz regions and, as  was the case with Kaveh Industrial City, this report by itself illustrates the toll taken on millions of working class families clearly enough so as to render any argument or rationale unnecessary.

1-       Mammut Diesel: This company is located on Karaj-Ghazvin highway near KordanBridge. Mammut Company is Iran’s largest manufacturer of goods, transport containers, and trucks (sales, after-sales and modification of Scania); it had employed 1800 workers. As a result of the current economic crisis, the factory was not able to remain active; in order to maintain profitability, it has fired 900 workers since 22 September 2012. Management has announced that if the [economic] situation remains as it is, it plans to close down the factory completely.

2-       Jam-saz Company: Jam-saz is located in Nazarabad in Hashtgerd. It is Iran’s manufacturer of car lights, and is a counterpart of car manufacturers in Iran. Jam-saz employed 600 workers, 200 of whom have been fired during the past few months.

3-       Iran Khodro’s Industrial Moulds Company: IIWU has published a number of reports about the situation of this company in the past few months. Not only has this company cut all benefits and even the workers’ lunch, which in fact means that more than a thousand of the company’s workers have a 50 percent reduced income, recently and gradually Iran Khodro has started to fire the workers. According to reports that have reached IIWU, apart from the past couple of months of layoffs, the management currently plans to fire 100 more workers.

Iranian Independent Workers’ Union

30 October 2012

Mission Free Iran sympathizes with all those who have been laid off, have lost their benefits, or are at risk of losing their jobs and livelihoods to join millions of others who have been pushed into absolute poverty and starvation.

We too believe that anti-labourer laws, legal and illegal measures by the capitalists and their Islamic government, should not be allowed to drive millions of working class families to the brink of annihilation. The Islamic regime is the sole entity responsible for 34 years of plundering and looting our human and natural resources. The mismanagement of economy is this regime’s twin. The regime, which has defended capital owners with anti-labourer laws, puppet labour organizations, harassments, thugs, jails and torture, must be held responsible for the consequences of its actions. It is not working class families who should pay for plunder and incompetence and donkeys running the economy.*

In the past few months, we have witnessed fantastic triumphs by workers in different sectors such as from the steel mill in Isfahan and the metalworkers in Tehran, but our struggle is still isolated and defensive. The working class of Iran now more than ever needs to unify and organize its forces across sectors and trades and geographical boundaries, and not only defend the existence and livelihoods of its members, but go on the offensive and dictate its fair and justified conditions to the owners of capital and their government.

Mission Free Iran

31 October 2012

* Khomeini once said – in preparation for the total and final eradication of what was left of the labour movement that put an end to Pahlavi’s dictatorship, and the social and economical demands prior to the dominance of the Islamic counter revolution – “Economy is for donkeys.” And ever since that time, Iranian workers in every protest action against the Islamic government’s economical policies have replied to that garbage by saying: “These donkeys cannot handle the economy!”

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