Iran Labour News Week 01 2013

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67% of Factories in Iran’s Industrial Sector Have Shut Down, Yet Iran’s Statistics Center Claims Only 3 Million UnemployedThe closure of Iranian factories resulting in unemployed workers continues to rise on a daily basis. The latest reports by Iran’s provincial Chambers of Commerce points to a 67% closure of factories in the industrial sector (5931 factories in total) across a variety of provinces. On average 30 – 90% of the industrial factories in Iran’s provinces have closed down with Khorasan Rasavi and Lorestan province reporting the highest number of bankruptcies with 1140 and 1100 closures, followed by Fars, Yazd and Western Azarbaijan province each reporting 900, 560 and 525 closures respectively.Despite the alarming number of factory closures and the subsequent layoffs, The Statistical Center of Iran’s latest report indicates that only 3,200,000 Iranians are currently unemployed. The Center claims that these results are based on the assumption that an individual working for one hour per week is considered employed, citing adherence to the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) standards. When determining the unemployment rate however, government officials cite total unemployment reports versus partial unemployment claims and although they claim adherence to ILO regulations they nevertheless fail to comply with the conventions set forth by this body, including the articles presented under Convention 87 of the ILO labor laws.In accordance to the articles set forth in the ILO’s Convention 87, workers and employers without any distinction whatsoever have the right to establish and, subject only to the rules of the organization concerned, to join organizations of their own choosing without previous authorization. Workers’ and employers’ organizations also have the right to establish and join federations and confederations and any such organization has the right to affiliate with international organization. The ILO Convention 87 also stipulates that labor organizations and employers have the right to freely establish their own statutes and regulations, freely elect their representatives and manage and regulate their own activities. Furthermore the Convention states that public authorities shall refrain from any interference which would restrict this right or impede the lawful exercise thereof. The question that remains unanswered is whether Iranian authorities will be willing to adhere to the articles under the ILO’s Convention 87 and in doing so recognize the right of workers to establish independent labor organization or whether they will continue to only uphold those articles of Convention 87 that are inline with their own personal interests.Other Labor Related News:

*Layoffs and strikes at:

– Hangam Khodro Co in Esfahan
– Saveh Rolling and Profile Mills
– Alvand Lamp Factory in Ghazvin

*Labor related incidents:

Based on the limited reports received by media outlets, six workers were killed last week in work related accidents.

*Update on Incarcerated Labor Activists:

Incarcerated labor activist and member of the the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Reza Shahabi announced that he will continue with his hunger strike and abstain from taking any medications until he has been granted medical furlough. Shahabi launched a hunger strike on December 17th, 2012 protesting the insulting behavior by the prison guards and the refusal of prison authorities to grant him medical furlough.

Ali Nejati a member of the board of directors of The Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Factory Trade Union was summoned to the 4th branch of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj following his trial at the 1st branch of the prosecutor’s office in Shush (Khuzestan province) on October 13th, 2012 in which he was charged with traveling to Kordestan and singing the local Lori folklore song “Dayeh, Dayeh” at a private party. To date Nejati and his wife Shahnaz have been summoned four times to the Revolutionary Courts in Shush, Dezful and Sanandaj and interrogated based on baseless accusations.

Source: Kaleme Kargari Facebook via Kaleme

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