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February 15: Day of Action for Imprisoned Iranian Bus Drivers


The AFL-CIO, the Solidarity Center, and the DC Metro Labor Council will join with other labor and human rights organizations around the world in a solidarity demonstration with striking bus drivers in Iran on February 15th, International Day of Action on Iran.



When: February 15, 2006 at 12pm

Where: Iranian Interest Section 2209 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, DC

More information: Cathy Feingold 202-778-4507 or


On January 28, 2006, the Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed), called a strike to protest the detention of union President Mansoor Osanloo and to demand that the government recognize their right to a union and to a collective bargaining agreement. In response, the government and public transportation company dispatched thousands of security and armed forces using tear gas, batons and threats to shoot the strikers. Hundreds have been arrested at their homes, including some spouses and children.


Managers at the Tehran Bus Company allegedly helped police identify hundreds of union sympathizers and on the eve of the called strike, police raided the homes of union leaders and activists, arresting workers, wives, and children. The two-year-old daughter of a union member bruised and cut her face when she was thrown into a patrol van. The next morning, as strikers arrived at the picket line, police rounded them up, using tear gas and batons and threatening to shoot the strikers. As many as 30 were hospitalized.


In response, the International labor and human rights communities have mounted a campaign for the release of the imprisoned workers and recognition of their union and their demands and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has designated Wednesday, February 15, 2006 as the International Day of Action on Iran. 


“The right to be a member of a trade union and the right to organize an independent labor organization are fundamental worker rights, protected under the relevant Conventions of the International Labor Organization,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in a strongly worded letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadjinejad. “The AFL-CIO strongly condemns the arrest of workers exercising their legitimate, internationally recognized trade union rights.”


The Vahed bus drivers’ union is appealing for support from the Iranian people and the international labor movement to:


  • Release Osanloo and the remaining prisoners
  • Recognize the union
  • Respect workers’ collective bargaining rights
  • Return all fired drivers to work unconditionally


Founded in 1968, the Vahed workers’ union was active for only ten years before government authorities disbanded it. The independent union resurfaced in 2005, but the government refused to accept its application for recognition. The bus company has withheld drivers’ wages and has fired, transferred, demoted, harassed, and interrogated union activists. Osanloo’s detention and the January 28 arrests are the latest in a series of escalating attacks that have included assaulting union leaders and torching the union office with Molotov cocktails.


Learn more

International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689

Letter from AFL-CIO President John Sweeney

Letter from ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder

Strike chronology





... Payvand News - 2/10/06 ... --

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