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۱۳۹۲ آبان ۹, پنجشنبه

Master-Learner Plan and Ali Rabieih’s Claims in Brazil

Ali Rabieih, Minister of Labor, and Children of Work Crisis

Preparation and approval of the Master-Learner plan, as an element of the economic deregulation programs, is a shameless raid on the rights and interests of our country’s workers. The Iranian parasitic capitalism even in exploiting the citizens does not adhere to equal treatment; in fact, exploitation of the weaker segments of the society is much harsher and more inhumane. During the last decades, especially in cases where women have been the only care-takers of the family and had to provide family’s basic living needs, they have had to accept wages even less than half the minimum wage. There are countless examples: while the monthly minimum wage is 487 thousand Tomans (one dollar is approximately equivalent to 3000 Tomans), in many factories in southern Iran, for example Zabol, women earning 180 thousand Tomans per month is common. Or even in a large city such as Shiraz, “Average monthly salary…..of pharmacy personnel is 300 thousand Tomans.” Since introduction and implementation of the Middle-Ages “Master-Learner” plan by the previous government, violation of equal-exploitation of the citizens has been much more tragic; and exploitation of children has been much more savage than that of women. This plan, which was designed to “create the foundations for productive work”, is supported by the Minister of Cooperation, Labor and Welfare, Mr. Rabieih. Mr. Rabieih who calls the owners of the big capital and parasitic capitalists as “job-creators”; and he has “done many studies on job creation himself….and believes in job creation”; in fact, even intends to expand the “Master-Learner” plan. Section 10 of the article 5 of the “Master-Learner” plan clearly emphasizes, ”Since the plan is educational, no money under any label, including wage or salary, will be paid to the leaner by the master.” Section 7 of the article 5 emphasizes, “Obviously, during the educational period, the learners will not be covered by the Labor Law and the Social Security Law; and this point will clearly be indicated in the contract.” This plan is designed to provide “fair educational skills”, and “create motivation in the learners and enhance their self-confidence.” This extremely reactionary plan intends to exploit only children who have “sufficient ability” and “Iranian citizenship”; and “the duration of instruction must be at least twice as long as the period incorporated in the educational standards; and it must be up to two years.” In this plan, “until the end of the instructional contract”, the learner “is required to execute the plan’s contract.” In another words, under this plan, only Iranian children, with absolutely no protection from the Labor Law or the Social Security Law, receiving absolutely no wages and under the barbaric exploitation of the Islamic Republic’s “job-creators”, must work to death for two years.

To illustrate the production plants’ absolutely ruined condition and the Iranian working class’s devastating unemployment condition, we will point to one example. On August 13, 2013, ILAN (Islamic Republic’s authorized Labor News-agency) reported that 70 percent of the plants in Orumieh’s Industrial City are closed or partially active. In another words, Iranian workers who were perfectly “capable” of working, and were responsible for taking care of families, have been laid-off from these plants; however, the aim of this Middle Ages’ inhumane “Master-Learner” plan, is to “create the foundations for productive work” using children; because without paying wages, the “job-creators” can put them to work for two years.

On August 10, 2013, Ali Rabieih, Islamic Republic’s Labor Minister indicated, “As part of my first one-hundred days plan is to solve some of industry’s problems and maintain the current employment level.” The truth is that Hassan Rouhani’s government, and his Minister of Labor Rabieih, have no new plans for solving “industry’s problems” and creating jobs for millions of unemployed Iranian workers. Hassan Rouhani’s government, not only intends to implement Ahmadinejad governments’ economic plans, but it also aims to “expand” and “extend” those policies. As an example, during Iranian delegation’s trip to New York to attend the United Nations’ gathering, Hassan Rouhani met with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monitory Fund. International Monitory Fund’s Spokesman indicated: “During the meeting, the Iranian delegation spoke of expansion of relations with the international economy; and considered the economy as one of the Iranian government’s first priorities; they emphasized on expansion of relations with the International Monitory Fund.”

The Middle Ages’ “Master-Learner” plan, has received workers’ fierce opposition; the following are examples of labor activists’ portrayal of this extremely reactionary plan: “Master-Learner plan’s implementation is intended to get rid of the Labor Law”; “Restoration of the Master-Learner practice is contrary to the charters of the basic labor rights, articles of the Constitution and contents of the International Declaration of Human Rights”; “Workers are unaware of the extent of the Master-Learner plan’s catastrophe”; “By changing the definition of ‘worker’ to ‘learner’, this plan makes all protective articles of the Labor Law concerning the work-force ineffective”; “Contents of this plan….. are in opposition to articles 105 and 142 of the International Labor Organization, articles which are also accepted by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”        

While using very anti-labor and neo-liberal economic policies, to acquire labor organizations’ support globally, Rouhani government’s Labor Minister also uses Ahmadinejad government’s shameful methods. To show the complete contradiction between statements and actions of the Islamic Republic officials, we will point to one case. As part of his programs in the area of labor and a cruel and inhumane form of neo-liberal economic policies, on August 7, 2013, Rabieih revealed the “good news” of “expansion of Master-Learner” plan to the workers’ children. In another word, not only they have made cruel exploitation of the Iranian workers’ and toilers’ children for two years, working without any pay or Labor Law protection legal, but they also want to expand it. On August 15, using economic difficulties as an excuse, they revealed cutting of workers’ children’s educational allowance. On August 17, on the first day of his job as Minister of Cooperation, Labor and Social Security, Mr. Rabieih said, “I will return smile to workers’ children’s faces.” While attending the “III Global Conference on Child Labor” in Brasilia, on October 10th, Rabieih declared, “Islamic Republic of Iran has made access to free education to all children possible.” On October 15, referring to the Iranian Parliament’s Center for Research’s statistics, a report in ILANA stated the “education becoming a commodity” as the “reason for 3.5 million Iranian children’s departure from education”, and added, “During the years after the war, we have witnessed different governments stepping on article 30 of the Constitution (free education).” In Brazil, Rabieih considered child-labor to be the result of poor and developing “countries’ development model”; and described imposing of  “the neo-liberal development model, based on economic deregulation and small governments, cutting government’s expenses” by “international economic organizations” as inefficient. Mr. Rabieih did not even stop there, according to ILANA’s October 10th report, in a meeting with Mr. Garibaldi Aloz, Brazil’s Minister of Social Security, he suggested “preparation of a complete plan for eradication of child labor to the International Labor Organization.” During that meeting, Mr. Rabieih indicated, “Iran considers eradication of the child labor as a religious matter….and according to the Iranian labor laws…. exploiting children, in addition to having to pay for damages, results in serious punishment.” Rabieih’s action and remarks in Brazil, is a reminder of Ahmadinejad’s Labor Minister’s remarks in Russia on December 12, 2012, where in spite of all anti-labor policies and suppression of labor activists in Iran, “summoned the world to abide by decent work.”

On September 1, 2013, on the beginning days of the school year, the time where to enhance their own and their country’s future opportunities, all children and teenagers must be in school acquiring scientific knowledge, while attending the Organization of Technical and Professional Instruction’s exhibition on “Product-Centered Instructions”, Rabieih stated, “This complex can be the first step in expanding the technical instructions for children; and focusing on the culture of technical training work from childhood, can make fundamental changes in the area of work culture and profitability….and news-media’s efforts in changing the existing believes is necessary.” The government’s responsibility is to support children’s and teenagers’ education; not to enact reactionary and Middle Ages’ “laws” to prepare conditions for their dropping out of schools and being exploited savagely, for two years and full-time, without absolutely no pay or no legal protection. To protect their prior achievements and class interests, in a united front, the Iranian working class must press their relentless and resolute struggle forward to force the Islamic Republic’s agents to retreat.