Excerpts of the Statement of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran on the occasion of May 1st, International Workers’ Day!
Workers, working people, pensioners, students, youths… Let’s act hand in hand to rid the homeland of the oppression and injustice of the ruling autocratic and anti-people regime!
Greetings upon the centenary of the inaugural May 1st celebration in Iran!
Workers and working people of Iran,
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran sincerely greets you on the occasion of May 1st, International Workers’ Day. The past year has been the difficult year of the coronavirus pandemic, the death of more than three million people around the world – the majority of whom were drawn from the working people and marginalised classes – and the exacerbation of back-breaking economic pressures on workers and working people. In the past year, as the world’s giant capitalist corporations added billions of dollars to their wealth, the vast gulf between poverty and wealth increasingly widened day by day. Absolute poverty and the lack of access to jobs, housing, health and education, along with the catastrophic destruction of the environment, are the result of the domination by global monopoly capitalism. Yet capitalist theorists and advocates are trying to tout this regressive and inhumane system as the only realistic path to the development of human society…
[Against this backdrop,] May Day and its marking underscore the need to continue the struggle of the world’s workers and working people against the global capitalist system, and especially monopoly capitalism – which, despite all the ups and downs, has dominated the world for more than a century… Every year since July 1889, despite the opposition and obstructions placed by capitalism, the anniversary of this labour movement has been celebrated and continues to be celebrated with the theme of global solidarity of the workers of all countries…
Workers and working people of Iran,
The [current Iranian] year 1400 coincides with the 100th anniversary of the first celebration of International Workers’ Day in our country. The first gathering on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day in Iran was held on the initiative of communists in 1921… Following the founding of the Tudeh Party of Iran, the struggle of the working class gained a new quality and momentum… The role of workers and working people in the most important developments of our homeland’s contemporary history – from the popular movement for the nationalisation of the oil industry [in the 1950s], to participation in the battles of the glorious Revolution of February 1979, and the struggle against the current anti-worker theocratic regime of Iran for almost four decades – demonstrate the vital importance of the struggle of the Iranian working class and working people in improving the sociopolitical condition of our country. The Tudeh Party of Iran has always emphasised that without the strong and organised presence of the working class in the arena of the general struggle of the people of Iran against the ruling authoritarian and anti-people regime, the realisation of the popular movement’s demands for the people to decide their own destiny would be nothing but a dream…
Workers and working people of Iran,
The past year was the excruciating and terrible year of the coronavirus pandemic in our country. Because of the theocratic regime’s disastrous and irresponsible policies, the pandemic has already cost tens of thousands of lives and the infection of more than 2.5 million citizens with COVID-19. The significant economic recession in the country, the closure of hundreds of manufacturing units, the unemployment of millions – especially among the country’s younger population, the inhumane sanctions of US imperialism, pervasive corruption across the regime’s institutions, the mafia-like domination of the economy by the IRGC and the regime’s leaders, along with the widespread and increasing oppression of the regime against citizens, have collectively brought about devastating conditions for the overwhelming majority of Iranian people, and render society ever the more volatile day by day.
The past year, as in recent years, witnessed your conscious, consistent, and growing struggle against the anti-worker theocratic regime of Iran… The anti-worker and repressive policies enforced in recent years demonstrate the nature of a state and regime that represents the country’s mercantile grand-capital and bureaucratic and rentier capitalism, whose class interests are in antagonistic contradiction to those of the nation’s workers and working people. Currently, dozens of activists and leaders of legal labour organisations in the country languish in prison… In recent years, workers and trade union rights activists in the country, while protesting against the regime’s anti-labour policies, have also voiced their opposition to the regime’s calculated efforts to revise the labour law [in favour of the ruling classes] and have demanded the rights of trade unions be implemented based on the ILO’s fundamental Conventions – particularly Conventions 87 and 98, which govern trade union rights and freedoms, and the right to assemble and strike.
Workers, working people, pensioners, students, and youths,
Not only for the overwhelming majority of you, but also for a large part of the ruling regime, the fact has become abundantly clear that in addition to the deep crippling economic crisis facing the country, the ruling theocratic regime is also struggling in a massive and profound crisis of ideological-political bankruptcy. By reopening the way for negotiations with the United States and bringing people to the polls for the June 2021 presidential elections, the Islamist regime in Iran is working to consolidate its weakened foundations and gain some kind of popular approval and legitimacy. A number of regime leaders do not deny the fact that were it not for the extraordinary situation in the country owing to the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible that – similar to the events of January 2018 and November 2019 in hundreds of cities across the country – people would have broadly risen against the oppression and tyranny of the dark-minded and anti-people theocratic regime…
In the course of the current popular movement, with the cooperation and planned united action of the workers and working people of the nation, the collapse of the current despotic theocratic regime will undoubtedly take place. We have to be prepared for this fight…
The Tudeh Party of Iran, the party that fights for the interests of the working class and the working people of Iran, based on its socio-political nature has always been fighting throughout its nearly 80 years of struggle alongside you, and will continue to do so.
On the eve of International Workers’ Day, the day of solidarity of all workers around the world, in concert with the global trade-union movement, let’s demand the following:
• Job security and decent wages and benefits for all working people,
• Elimination of discrimination against female workers who suffer from double oppression,
• Freedom of trade union activity and the right to association in independent trade unions,
• An immediate end to the prosecution, imprisonment, and oppression of trade union activists,
• The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners,
• Continuation of the striving for international peace, progress and solidarity, and…
• A world free from exploitation.
Let’s join and redouble our efforts to organise and fight the united ranks of the reaction, tyranny, and regression, in a broad anti-dictatorship front – and, by rejecting the current theocratic regime, pave the way for democracy, democratic freedoms, and social justice. The history of nearly a century of heroic struggle by Iran’s working class promises the eventual and undoubtable victory of the people against the reaction and tyranny.
• Salutations on the occasion of May 1st, International Workers’ Day, the day of militant solidarity of the workers and working people of the world!
• Greetings to Iran’s militant workers and working people!
• Long live the glorious memories of the martyrs of the labour movement and all the victims of the struggle for liberation of the homeland!
• Victory to the struggle of Iran’s workers and working people to win trade union and political rights against the ruling religious dictatorship!
• Victory to the people’s struggle for rejection of the ruling theocratic regime in Iran and for freedom, peace, sovereignty, and social justice!
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran
27 April 2021