25 November 2006

Iran, Trade Unions and the Middle East

Trade unionists in the Middle East often face the most repressive regimes, theocracies, dictatorships, etc and yet they still struggle to protect the rights of their members. The possibility of arbitrary arrest or assassination is a constant worry to them.

How we react and how we help the trade unionists of the Middle East says a lot about our commitment to human rights and workers rights, the recent attack on the bus workers' leader is but one example:

"Mansour Osanloo, the President of the Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) was arrested by plain clothes agents, who refused to show any identification or arrest warrants, on Sunday, November 19, 2006 while he, along with two other union board members, were on their way to the office of the Labour Ministry in Tehran East. The agents physically and verbally assaulted Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi, the union's vice-president, and one of them pointed a gun at Mr. Madadi and fired a bullet in the air. The agents finally forced Mr. Osanloo into a waiting car and drove away. "

(Hat tip: HP)

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