International Labour Solidarity Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI)

The following is the translation of an appeal by the Free Union of Iranian Workers calling for support for the jailed sugar cane workers and their families in Iran – ILSC-WPI, Nov 16, 2009

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Organisation, strike and assembly are our certain rights

Honourable workers and people of Iran

Four workers of Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Company, Fereydoon Nikoofard, Jalil Ahmadi, Ghorban Alipoor and Mohammad Heydari have been detained and sent to prison, following the confirmation of their six-month sentences by the appeal court. Another worker, Ali Nejati, is also about to be apprehended.*

Meanwhile, Farzad Kamangar, Mansoor Osaalou and Ebrahim Madadi are still serving long prison terms. Mehdi Farahi Shandiz is still in jail, without charge, six months after being arrested on May Day in Tehran, while other May Day detainees, having already spent some two months in jail, are also being summoned.

These workers have not committed any crime. Their only crime is to have protested against injustice and delays in payment of wages; for having celebrated May Day and for having built organisations to defend their most basic human rights.

The imprisoned sugar cane workers repeatedly came out into the streets at the forefront of their colleagues to protest at the non-payment of wages and the starvation to which their families have been subjected. The response by the existing system to the most basic demands of the workers has been nothing but batons, tear gas and fabricated court cases.

Having worked at Haft Tappeh company for years under the harshest conditions, and having created hundreds of billions of Tomans of wealth, these workers had every right to come out into the streets to protest at unpaid wages and the appalling conditions that the inhuman capitalist system has imposed on them and their families. They were right to rise up in protest against the violation of their most basic human rights and in defence of the right to life. They were right to build their independent organisation so as to unite their forces against the endless abuses of the employer.

Freedom-loving workers and people of Iran

Chaining up the sugar cane workers for setting up their organisation and for protesting at the non-payment of wages means silencing every cry for freedom of all workers in the country. We must stand up to this in a united rank and call for the immediate and unconditional release of these workers.

The Free Union of Iranian Workers condemns the detention and jailing of Haft Tappeh workers and the continued imprisonment of Farzad Kamangar, Ebrahim Madadi, Mansoor Ossalou and other justice-seeking people who are in the country’s prisons. We call on the workers and all the people of Iran to support the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of these prisoners and to offer their support to their families.

Our Union sets aside a monthly sum of 3 million Rials (in addition to donations raised from amongst our members and other workers) and calls on all workers and people in Iran to raise and send donations for the families of the jailed Haft Tappeh workers. Our union will stand by Haft Tappeh workers in their struggle for their human rights, and, while continuing its fight for their release, will not forget about their families.

Organisation, strike and assembly are our certain rights
Long live Haft Tappeh workers
Long live workers’ solidarity

The Free Union of Iranian Workers
14 November 2009
Fax: 02144514795

* Ali Nejati, the president of the union, began a six-month sentence on Monday 16 November – Note by translator

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