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۱۳۹۳ شهریور ۴, سه‌شنبه

Privatization Devastates Workers’ Rights and Job Security

One of the economic programs that the imperialist organizations of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank emphasize on its implementation is privatization of the national sector of the economy. In their propaganda, these organizations have described privatization as a means toward “reduction in the size of the government”, “giving the management responsibilities to the people”, and development of the national economy. July 1, 2014, was the eight anniversary of the notification of the section “g” of article 44 of the Iranian Constitution. According to the Iranian Students’ News Agency’s (ISNA) June 30, 2014 report, section “g”, “which by transferring of the government activities and production plants to the private sector was intended to develop the government sector; so that the people could manage the government sector of the economy and the government’s size reduces…..after eight years…..has not been realized!” Of course the notification’s reference to the “people”, are the internal big capitalists, parasitic capital and those connected to the ruling class; but these days, it includes imperialist monopolies as well. Section “g” of the article 44 of the Constitution was notified by Ali Khamaneih; and “quickening the process of advance and development of the country’s economy, implementation of social-justice, elimination of poverty,….,” were some of its important implementation goals. After more than two decades of implementation of the destructive economic programs dictated by the International Monetary Fund in our country, on August 7, 2014, Alireza Mahjoub, First Secretary of the Workers’ House indicated, “At this moment 90 percent of the workers live under the poverty-line…… Economic recession has not been specific to one government; this recession started in 1993.”    

Before being elected as President, Rouhani and his Minister of Labor Rabieih made many promises to the workers and toilers; which with their families constitute the absolute majority of the Iranian people. Concerning the wages: on June 9, 2013, Rouhani indicated, “If I am elected as President, I will increase the workers’ wages according to the law and as much as the inflation-rate”; and on August 17, 2013, Rabieih announced, “Since in determining the 2013 wages, the law has not been carefully considered and the Iranian Center for Statistics’ announced inflation rate was not applied, …..it must be corrected.” As we all know, neither the 2013 minimum wage was corrected, nor the 2014 minimum wage was determined according to the law. Rabieih promised “reforming of the temporary work contracts”, supporting the “organizations and associations of popular-nature”, timely payment of the workers’ wages, and……..as well. Privatization is the main cause of the expansion of the temporary work contracts, devastation of the workers’ job security and violation of timely payment of the workers’ wages. The following is a brief description of the conclusion of Rouhani’s and Rabieih’s other promises.

Regarding reforming of the temporary work contracts and timely payment of the workers’ wages, we will present four reports. One of the 80 workers in the July 3, 2014, protest gathering of the Kamiaran Sugar Factory told the Islamic Republic’s Labor News Agency (ILANA), “Since the start of the current year, Kamiaran Sugar Factory workers’ contracts are being prepared on a monthly basis; while before, their contracts were prepared on a 5 or 3 months basis”; on June 8, 2014, Seid Hassan Hefdah-Tan, Minister of Labor’s Work-Relations Deputy told the Mehr News Agency, “During the last year, 90 percent of the work contracts in the country were temporary”; on May 5, 2014, quoting Kermansh Workers’ House Secretary ILANA reported, “During the last ten years, no worker has been hired on a permanent basis”; and finally, on May 10, 2014, a member of the Gazvin Province Center for Work Councils told ILANA, “6034 permanent and temporary workers in Gazvin Province have between one to 62 months of unpaid wage claims.” Regarding Rabieih’s supporting the labor and “popular-nature” organizations, on June 25, 2014, Port Emam Temporary-Contract Workers’ Union Spokesperson told ILANA, “When Rouhani government assumed the responsibility….., pressures increased and confrontation with workers took a more serious form….; Especial and Free Economic Zone’s Organization claims that by being harsh with workers, he wants to attract investors; while what we observe in practice, is attracting contractors and signing of 4 to 5 years duration contracts with them.”

On June 6, 2014, in the government cabinet’s party Rouhani indicated, “We promised people to give the management responsibilities to the people”; and ISNA’s June 30, 2014 report indicated, “Most of the privatization took place during the last year (2013).” To show the devastating effects of this policy, we will point to three reports from workers’ protests against Rouhani government’s privatization. According to ILANA’s August 10, 2014 report, protesting against failure of the Oil Corporation to announce final results of the Oil Corporation’s employment entrance exam, more than 100 of those who had passed the entrance exam gathered in front of the Parliament, and “demanded clarification of their status after 16 months of wandering around.” One of the protesters described “the Oil Corporation’s excuses for privatization and reduction in size of the work-force as the main cause of those who had passed the entrance exam being kept in limbo.” In a report from the Damavan Electric Production Management Company workers’ demonstration on August 3, 2014, a Management Council member of the Iran’s Water and Electric Workers’ Union told ILANA, “Workers’ protests started two years ago following the power plant’s privatization……Following the privatization, the criterion for transferring to contractor companies has been money, not expertise…… Workers are demanding their unpaid-wages…..functioning of the power plant’s labor organization…..”; in another report on June 6, 2014 ILANA wrote, “Protesting against Eastern Alborz Cool Mines’ privatization,…..1400 workers of the mines have stopped working and have gathered in the mine’s area.” The same report emphasized on the workers’ fear of “the declining job security”; and added, “Receiving minimum-wage, which after several months of delay is deposited into their accounts……about 1200 of the Northern Alborz Cool Mine workers work with temporary contracts.” To attract imperialist monopolies and provide them with an assurance, while “bestowing and cutting” 50 percent of the foreign investment’s taxes, on August 12, 2014, Mohammad-Reza Naemat-Zadeh, Minister of Industry, Mines and Commerce indicated, “The times of injustice against capitalists is over.”

By organizing workers in their independent syndicates and unity in action, we can, and we must put an end to the Islamic Republic’ devastating policies.       

United Workers Everything

Isolated Workers Nothing