/** headlines: 137.0 **/
** Topic: Iranian Oil-Workers Arrested **
** Written 7:59 AM Feb 24, 1997 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 1:08 AM Feb 17, 1997 by itusc@gn.UUCP in labr.asia */
/* ---------- "IRANIAN OIL-WORKERS ARRESTED" ---------- */
This is from the International Trade Union Solidarity Campaign (ITUSC) at:-
'snail' mail: PO Box 18, Epsom, Britain, KT18 7YR
Tel/Fax ++44 (0) 1372 817 778
This message has been requested by the:-
COMMITEE FOR THE DEFENCE AND SUPPORT OF THE IRANIAN OIL WORKERS
Today (16 February), hundreds of oil workers and their elected representatives from the petroleum refineries in Iran (of the cities of Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz and Tehran), together with workers of the oil distribution sector, the oil pipelines and the national gas company, were arrested at a picket in front of the Tehran oil ministry. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also declared all oil workers' organisations as illegal, banned the formation of a national organisation and refused their demand for collective bargaining.
As we previously informed you, the oil workers are involved in a direct confrontation with the Iranian regime. They are protesting against their working conditions, the level of wages and for the right to form a workers' organisation. Up to now the regime which governs Iran has refused to accept these basic and just demands.The oil workers had previously threatened to go on an all-out national, unlimited strike if their legitimate demands are not met.
On 5 and 6 February, they elected representatives who then went to Tehran to form a national organisation. This organisation met there on 7 February, but the Iranian government intervened and dissolved the meeting. It then forced the representatives to return to their respective cities and prohibited them from leavingthem, putting them under 'city' arrest.A week later, the government demanded that each city send representatives to Tehran for negotiations. These negotiations were fruitless.
Today, 16 February, around 2,000 oil workers and their representatives, acxcompanied by many other workers of associated industries, held a picket in front of the Tehran oil ministry and demanded to speak to the oil minister. Iranian 'Revolutionary' Guards were called and quickly surrounded the area. They gave warning shots into the air to deter others from joining the oil workers' protest.
Later, the government and the Revolutionary Guards brought many buses to the scene, arrested several hundreds of oil workers and their representatives and others.Tonight, at least until2100hrs. (Tehran time) , they went to workers homes and made arrests. They wre taken to a prison, but it is not known which one.
The government has declared all oil workers' organsations illegal, prohibited the formation of a national organisation and refused the collctive bargaining demand.
Today, in a radio interview, the Iranian oil minister claimed that negotiations with oil workers had taken place and that an agreement had been reached.
According to our sources in Iran, which are 100% reliable, this is a complete fabrication; there is no element of truth in this statement. Today, all workers in all four refineries including the Tehran oil distribution department, oil pipeline workers and the national gas company have joined the strike to free their colleagues.
WE URGE ALL TRADE UNIONS, POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE MEDIA TO PUBLICISE THIS NEWS AND TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TO FREE ALL OIL WORKERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED, IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY.
Please send faxes to the Iranian Embassy in your country and let us have a copy of your response for relating your message to the Iranian oil workers and their representatives (through publications and broadcasts).
Iranian Refugee Workers' Association,
PO Box 3646,
Tel/Fax 0044 (0) 1372 817 778
Communist Party of Iran,
PO Box 70445,
107 25 Stockholm,
Fax: (46) 08 86 80 54
Fax: 0044 (0) 181 248 2658
Iranian Workers' Left Unity,
PO Box 22634,
1100 DC Amsterdam,
Keith Standring (firstname.lastname@example.org)