We condemn this attack on defenceless workers seeking their rights!
According to reports and footage published and verified, on Tuesday 19th of September employees of the Hepco Company – specialising in the production of heavy equipment and road building machinery – and Azarab Industries Company – specialising in the construction of power stations and refineries – both operating from the city of Arak in central Iran, were attacked by security forces and a special anti-riot police unit during their protest march in the city. The workers of the Hepco and Azarab factories have not received wages for months and no individual or organ has been held accountable for this. The workers of these two major workplaces are owed at least six months’ worth of wages and other work related benefits.
The policies and programs of the regime, such as rampant privatisation and economic liberalisation, have aggravated the work and life conditions of the working class and the working people. The phenomenon of wage arrears, which has spread across production units and factories throughout the country and devastated the lives of workers and the working people by forcing them into poverty, is primarily the result of the implementation of these antipatriotic and anti-worker programs and policies. The onslaught on defenceless and hungry workers is the targeted policy of the theocratic regime, implemented in parallel with the application of soft control. The regime’s plan is aimed at reconciling and harmonising the field of labour relations, the process of transformation, and the establishment of labour organisations with the requirements of the regime and its ultimate aim of full integration within global capitalism, in particular its securing membership of the WTO. In this regard, oppression and violence are combined with the application of soft control.
The Tudeh Party of Iran, the party of the Iranian working class, condemns the attack on defenceless workers of Hepco and Azarab who were seeking their salaries and due rights. The party calls for immediate medical attention for the injured workers and victims of this brutal attack, and demands firm reprimand and punishment for those that ordered it as well as all the perpetrators. The only effective way to confront the targeted and planned policies of the theocratic regime is to promote increased solidarity amongst workers and to upscale the efforts for the organisation of the hitherto scattered and sporadic struggles of the working class and the working people of our homeland. The labour movement will be able to secure trade union rights and welfare benefits for workers under the current changing circumstances provided that it adopts an all-inclusive united approach in campaigning for trade union rights, the establishment and revitalization of independent trade unions and by establishing close ties with the popular movement campaigning for the rejection of the theocratic regime.
Workers united – all powerful!
Workers scattered – powerless!
Tudeh Party of Iran
20th September 2017