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۱۳۹۲ دی ۱۳, جمعه

Labor-Union Activity and the Need for Labor-Unions’ Independence in Action

The subject of labor-union activity and method of struggle of the labor organizations at the current conditions is one of the most serious topics of the discussion in our country’s existing labor-union movement.

Discussion concerning this subject, especially after numerous and wide-spread violations during the Center for Trade Association’s elections became extensive and well-known.

In step with the eleventh government’s Ministry of Labor’s implementation of the “Tri-lateral Plan”, some time ago ILAN News Agency put the subject of “Pathology of Independence of Labor Organization” to study and debate. During the third segment of this debate, Hassan Sadegy, former Executive Committee Secretary for the Grand Center for Islamic Labor Councils, a well-known figure among the current sham and dependant labor organizations, brought up points which constitute the best evidence and a clear example in confirmation of the constant and repeated violation of labor-union rights during more than three decades of Islamic Republics’ existence. Quoting Hassan Sadegy, on November 4, 2013, ILANA wrote, “Dependence of the labor trade organizations, both before and after the revolution, has always been a serious subject for the workers; where depending on the conditions of the time has been severe or weak…. A study of the labor organizations’ activities during these historical periods shows the extent to which government had affected the philosophy and positions of these organizations…. By providing the government and management the total autonomy in confirming fitness of the workers’ elected trade representatives at the factories, the existing laws (please pay good attention) deny trade independence for the labor organizations from the start of their establishment…... Until the laws of the part six of the Labor Law and the Ministry of Cooperation, Labor and Welfare’s method of management of the labor and management organizations do not change, the government and management will control workers’ union activities.”

The words of one of the main authorities of the Center for Islamic Labor Councils and the sham organizations exactly means that the labor-union activities during all past three decades have been under control and steering of the Islamic Republic governments. Now this fact is being revealed by someone who has always worked and acted against the independent labor unions; and currently he serves as one of the main councilors for the eleventh government’s Minister of Labor. Nonetheless, contrary to the opinion and program of those with pre-determined plan in trying to “cultivate and architecture” the labor union activities; workers’ daily lives and devastating effects of the social-economical policies dictated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, such as the economic reform, economic structural reform, economic deregulation, privatization and Targeting of the Subsidies, have shown workers the importance of restoration of labor-union rights and establishment of independent labor unions; and in different ways, they strive for it. For many concrete and subjective reasons, and brutal and open violation of the workers’ labor-union right for organization, now we are at a juncture that denial of labor the union rights is not possible. In another words, for the government and the regime, following the same path in dealing with the workers’ demands for labor-union rights is no longer possible.

The Ministry of Labor’s Tri-lateral Plan and arrangement of debates entitled “Pathology of Independence of Labor Organization” and other targeted activities, show that with the approaching of the time for start of the Grand Labor Council’s meetings for determining the minimum wage, a multi-lateral and pre-determined plan for control and steering of the workers’ and toilers’ demands is on the agenda.   

While with vigilant struggle and using all opportunities, we must push for the urgent demand of restoration of the labor union right and establishment of labor-unions; we must have enough of alert watchfulness and awareness to preserve independence and class identity of the labor organizations. Safeguarding independence of the labor-unions is necessary condition for any kind of labor-union activity. The plan for “cultivation” of workers’ organizations that the Ministry of Labor is pursuing and has the Commercial House’s support as well, is not a single-sided plan, but it is a completely multi-faceted plan which phase by phase is being implemented. Labor-union activity based on correct class orientation is contrary to any kind of interference, and open and hidden steering and guiding by the government and the big-capitalists. We must not forget that as parts of the economic deregulation plan, reform of the labor law and the social-security law are on the government’s agenda; therefore, using any crack, opportunity and open and legal labor-union activity does not mean supporting Rouhani government’s economic-social plans. With their valued role, independent unions have had major effect on the labor challenges; let us try to strengthen this role.