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Iranian labour groups say government policies burdern workers

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Islamic Republic labour polices and the removal of government subsidies for energy and food staples is making it hard for Iranian workers to make ends meet, labour organizations say.

In a joint statement issued to mark International Workers Day, seven Iranian labour organizations wrote that they are deprived of every right to organize and demonstrate and are "consistently under severe attacks against our lives and livelihood."

The statement call for the return of the subsidies, highlighting the adverse effects of their removal, which they claim has put further pressure on the "lives and livelihoods of millions of workers and their families."

The groups describe the workers' challenges like this: "Tremendous increases in energy prices and the subsequent closure of factories, add hundreds and thousands of workers to the ranks of the unemployed, even as unemployment insurance is cut and the price of food staples surges."

The Iranian labour organizations are calling for: freedom of independent labour assembly; the right to strike and demonstrate; freedom for all political parties; freedom of speech and a free media; wages determined by real worker representatives; job security and the payment of all delayed wages.

The statement also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all jailed labour activists as well as prisoners from other social movements, an end to all discriminatory laws against women, and establishment of complete equality between genders, a guarantee of adequate incomes for all retirees, an end to child labour and to all discrimination against Afghan immigrant workers and all other nationalities.

The Iranian labour organizations also want May Day to become a national holiday and they are demanding an end to restrictions on celebrating the day. They also voice support for the struggles and popular protests in the Middle East and express their appreciation for international support extended to labour struggles in Iran.

... Payvand News - 04/29/11 ... --

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