ITF Affiliates Pledge Support for Iranian Trade Unionists (11/16)

 

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation, to which the SIU is affiliated, issued the following news release, dated November 16:

 

Toronto conference pledges continuing support for victimized Iran trade unionists

 

Two hundred trade union representatives from around the world pledged today in Toronto, Canada, to continue supporting their colleagues in Iran who are suffering intimidation and imprisonment.

 

The delegates, who speak for road and rail unions worldwide, are meeting at a ground-breaking ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) conference that is setting the global agenda for their future work on issues such as privatization, deregulation, logistics and global supply chains. Hosted by the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers Union), it brings together 200 delegates from 76 trade unions in 44 countries.

 

ITF unions have led the defense of independent transport unions in Iran, including the successful fight to release from jail Mansour Osanloo, the courageous leader of the Tehran Bus Workers’ Union (Vahed Syndicate) and his colleague Ebrahim Madadi.

 

The conference heard evidence of widespread infringements of workers’ rights in Iran including non-payment of wages, imprisonment of trade unionists and flagrant abuse of the basic right to choose to belong to a trade union. It unanimously agreed the following statement:

 

“We demand in particular the immediate release from prison in Tehran of Reza Shahabi, the treasurer of the Vahed Syndicate. Reza Shahabi is suffering from extremely poor health as a result of his incarceration and the circumstances of his detention which has included torture and extended periods of solitary confinement.

 

“Reza has been imprisoned purely because of his trade union activities and his determination to represent his fellow workers.

 

“We, affiliates of the ITF re-pledge ourselves to demand the freedom of this unjustly imprisoned prisoner of conscience.  Freedom for Reza. Freedom for all prisoners of conscience.”

 

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