Speaking at a meeting, where a joint statement was signed between the Iranian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and an ILO delegation, he added that ILO in joint cooperation with the Iranian government as well as labor and employers groups managed to draw up an amendment to the sixth chapter of Iran's labor law.
He said that the plan providing for independent labor and employers syndicates is founded on international labor principles and conventions.
The ILO official added that according to the plan, the syndicates' role and tasks will be differentiated from that of Islamic Labor Councils.
Jernigan said, "From now on, the syndicates are authorized to represent laborers, while the Islamic Labor Councils will act as consultants in the welfare affairs of guild units."
He reiterated that the amendment will further vindicate the laborers and employers rights and secure the interests of both the laborers and the employers.
"According to the bill, guild associations will be registered by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, while this does not mean that the ministry has the right to interfere with their affairs. This is merely aimed at keeping the government posted on its social partners.
Concerning the status of labor syndicates in Iran, he said that they have so far been neither multiple nor independent and that the decision to reform labor law was made once the issue was discussed between ILO delegation and representatives of government, laborers and employers.
Jernigan said, "ILO representatives spent seven months to examine the issue and reorganize the syndicates affairs in Iran. The plan for guild associations was drawn up after lengthy discussion and close cooperation between the negotiating parties."
He pointed out that great effort was made to come up with a solution based both on ILO standards and Iran's national characteristics to be acceptable to the majority of laborers.
"The point of interest was that all the groups involved in the formation of labor syndicates approved the principles and fundamentals of the syndicates' freedom and independence and ILO agreements 87 and 97," he noted.
Referring to the plan as a cornerstone, he hoped that the set principles will be applied in practice and that executive by-laws will also be drawn up.
... Payvand News - 5/15/03 ... --