Workers and working people of the homeland!
On the occasion of 1 May, International Workers’ Day, the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran greets you who fight for the justice, prosperity, and freedom of the nation. In the current difficult conditions under which to make a living, under back-breaking economic pressures, and amid the continuation of the authoritarian and anti-labour theocratic regime of the Islamic Republic, you carry on the fight for your labour rights, for the dignity of the nation, and to rid the nation of the oppressors. We wish you and all the people of Iran success and victory in the struggle against the oppressive and anti-people theocratic regime of the Islamic Republic.
The past year has been an eventful and difficult year for all the workers and working people of the world. On the eve of May Day, we have witnessed more than eight weeks of bloody and devastating war in Europe resulting from the supremacist policies of U.S. imperialism, the provocations of the NATO treaty of aggression, and Russia’s military attack on Ukraine. The past year has also been one in the continued fight of humanity against the coronavirus, which has resulted in the demise of more than six million people, the vast majority of whom are drawn from the working-class and marginalised communities. This pandemic has resulted in social hardships and back-breaking economic pressures on the lives and livelihoods of workers and working people around the world. In this past year, tens of millions of people have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in the world economy, and been driven into the swelling ranks of the unemployed, while the world’s giant capitalist corporations added tens of billions of dollars to their wealth. According to the published statistics, in 2020 alone, more than 120 million people were driven into the ranks of the world’s disadvantaged people living under the poverty line owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Absolute poverty; the lack of access of hundreds of millions of people to jobs, housing, healthcare, and education; as well as catastrophic environmental destruction, are the result of the rule of global monopoly capitalism – while some continue to attempt to pose this regressive and inhumane rule as the only system and realistic path towards the [progressive] transformation of human society. Commemorating International Workers’ Day in such circumstances requires there to be an emphasis on the necessity of continuing the struggle of the world’s workers and working people against the global capitalist system and especially monopoly capitalism, which despite all of its fluctuations, has dominated our world for more than a century now.
Iran’s workers and working people!
Iran has had an eventful and transformative year. The most important aspectof the past year was the continuation of widespread labour and popular protests against the dreadful policies of the Islamic Republic regime. Among the important areas of workers’ courageous struggle against the regime’s policies were:
- the fight against privatisation and “adjustment” of labour power,
- the extensive struggle of project workers in the oil and petrochemical industry, mines, municipalities, and manufacturing sector, to eliminate middle-man labour brokerages,
- the struggle of railway and transportation workers against their dismal employment conditions and wages,
- the struggle of electricity and telecommunication workers for job security and the elimination of discrimination,
- the struggle of the nation’s teachers and educational workers and retirees for free education for all, and for real wages above the poverty line,
- the struggle of the country’s pensioners and retirees against mounting economic pressures and the regime’s disregard for decent pension provision,
- the struggle of nurses for job security, decent wages, and benefits.
One of the serious areas of challenge facing workers, working people, and millions of Iranian families, has been the catastrophic trend of rising unemployment across the country; the exacerbation of poverty and deprivation; and, with this, the spread of acute social malaise in various forms. The minister of cooperatives, labour, and social welfare, told news agencies last November that “According to official statistics, we have about 2.4 million unemployed people and 2.2 million people with precarious or unstable employment, and about 2 million people desperate and hopeless to find work […] According to the results of the labour force survey published in the summer of 2021, the youth unemployment rate is 25.7% among15-24 year olds and 17.6% among the 18-35 age group.”
The social welfare deputy for the ministry of cooperatives, labour, and social welfare, also stated in a report, in October 2021, that by 2020, about 26 million people were living in “absolute poverty”.
Today, there is nothing more important for Iran’s working-class and working people than the nationwide joint and organised struggle against the devastating policies of the ruling theocratic regime of Iran. Without independent trade and labour union organisations, and without coordination and unity of action of social forces [in Iran], this struggle will face serious challenges. The actions of the theocratic regime’s security apparatus in recent decades have always been focused against the [bona fide] true workers’ organisations, underpinned by disruption and brutal repression of any tendency to organise or for solidarity among labour activists [in Iran]… The organised and nationwide struggle of teachers, educational workers, and retirees, and their overseeing of joint movements in more than 100 cities across the country in recent months, are among the valuable experiences that must be utilized and extended to other elements of the struggles of the nation’s workers and working people.
Working people of the homeland!
The capitalist rule over our nation with an “Islamic” face over the past four decades has shown itself to be the fundamental barrier to fulfilling your demands and moving the country towards social justice. The deeply corrupt and ruthless system that rules our homeland, the political system of the “absolute theocracy” regime, cannot be reformed.
More than one hundred years have passed since the first gathering on International Workers’ Day in Iran in 1921, initiated by the communists and called by the Central Council of the Federation of Trade Unions. With the founding of the Tudeh Party of Iran [2nd October 1941], the struggle of the working class and toilers took on a new quality.
The holding of an International Workers’ Day celebration in Iran on 1st May 1979, an initiative of the Tudeh Party of Iran and Council of Trade Unions in which 700,000 workers throughout Iran participated, was a turning point in the organised presence of Iranian workers and toilers in the struggle for their rights. It changed the political atmosphere of our country not only at that time but for years to come.
Today, the Tudeh Party of Iran believes that without a strong and organised presence of the working class in the general struggle of the people against authoritarian and anti-people rule, one cannot be optimistic about the realisation of the popular movement’s demands for the Iranian people’s right to determine their own destiny. International Workers’ Day is a day for the renewal of our vows to continue the joint and concerted struggle against the devastating policies of capitalism [currently] dominating our homeland; a day for the renewal of our vows to fight the looting and repression of the ruling regime; and day for the renewal of our vows to endeavour to achieve the unity of workers’ action and between the nation’s wide range of working people, from teachers and educational workers to retirees and nurses.
International Workers’ Day is a day to redouble the efforts to free all imprisoned workers and working people, as well as all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, in the country.
- Happy May Day, International Workers’ Day, the day of militant solidarity of workers and working people around the world!
- Long live the glorious memory of the workers’ movement’s martyrs and all the martyrs of freedom of the homeland!
- Victory to the struggle of Iran’s workers and working peoplefor their trade and political interests and against the ruling religious tyranny!
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran
25 April 2022