We condemn the reactionary and anti-working class Iranian regime, as well as the U.S. sanctions against Iran, which only serve their imperialist aims, while worsening workers’ living conditions and give the regime a pretext for harsher repression. Either a regime change comes from the mobilization of workers, or it will be a new regime of oppression. We will do our best to support the struggle of Iranian workers, and contribute to the creation of an international network for active workers’ solidarity.
January 13, 2019
SI Cobas, a rank-and-file workers’ union in Italy, expresses its full solidarity with Iranian workers at the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Agro-Industrial Company and at Iran National Steel Industrial Group and their struggle for payment of wages, better working conditions, and their right to organize in union and workers’ councils and assemblies. We condemn the arrest and imprisonment of workers and worker representatives for their organizing activity and participation in workers’ struggles, and the ill treatment of arrested workers, with beating and torture, in particular against the Haft Tapeh workers’ representative Esmail Bakhshi, who has also been dismissed from the company.
In many countries, even where workers have formally the right to organize in unions and strike like Italy, governments are increasingly intervening in support of employers and capital against labor, with new repressive laws (the Security Decree in Italy), police interventions against strike pickets, and ever more restrictive sentences by the judiciary – like a recent sentence condemning to up to 2 years and 6 months of detention SI Cobas workers, organizers and supporters for participation in a national strike at a DHL warehouse, and even a fake judicial case plotted by the Police against our national coordinator, Aldo Milani, who is being tried for “extortion”.
We condemn the reactionary and anti-working class Iranian regime, as well as the U.S. sanctions against Iran, which only serve their imperialist aims, while worsening workers’ living conditions and give the regime a pretext for harsher repression. Either a regime change comes from the mobilization of workers, or it will be a new regime of oppression.
We will do our best to support the struggle of Iranian workers, and contribute to the creation of an international network for active workers’ solidarity.
ONE INTERNATIONAL CLASS, ONE STRUGGLE!
The Executive Committee of SI Cobas
More information from SI Cobas about Increasing repression in Italy
As mentioned in the SI Cobas statement, also in Italy, while we are still enjoying freedom of organization in unions and freedom of strike (still more than in many other democratic countries), in the last years and especially with the new yellow-green (5Stars+League) government, we are witnessing and undergoing increasing repression, both by security forces attacking our pickets, and by the judiciary taking an increasingly repressive stand.
You’ve probably already been informed about a plot set up by the police in February 2017 against our national coordinator Aldo Milani (now we have the evidence from wiretappings), whose trial for “extortion” is supposed to come to sentence in one or two months. Even though there is no evidence whatsoever of the charges against him, we are not fully confident on his acquittal, because of the growing politicization of the judiciary. The proof is in another sentence by the court of Milan, regarding charges for a picket at a DHL warehouse in Settala (near Milan) during a national strike on March 15, 2015. On that day DHL locked out the warehouse, so there was no blockage of trucks or workers. While the public prosecutor pleaded for the acquittal of ALL defendants, because there had been no violence or illegal acts, the judge has condemned several SI Cobas workers, organizers and supporters to detention terms from 18 months up to 2 years and six months (including Aldo, who just showed up for only a few minutes at the site).
It is clear that this sentence has nothing to do with judiciary evidence, but with the political climate that is being imposed under the new government, especially with the “Security Decree” passed in Parliament, which criminalizes forms of struggle like street protests and pickets (following the request of the association of transport companies for the government to curb strikes in the logistic sector), and housing occupations by homeless families. The new Security Decree, which is going to transform a large majority of asylum seekers into undocumented people, available for all kinds of illegal exploitation, is particularly punitive with immigrants in general, as they can have their residence permit withdrawn and be deported back to their countries of origin if they take part in these struggles – i.e. “crimes”.
Already during the strikes we are organizing (presently at the Toncar factory near Milan, against the laying off of 80 unionised workers with fixed contract and seniorities of up to 20 years, and their replacement with workers with six month contracts called to work on 12-hour shifts for 6 days a week, the authorities are deploying up to 50 Carabinieri (the military police) to support the employers, and are threatening to report workers (all immigrants) to the immigration office… [breaking news: last night an agreement was reached for hiring back all laid off workers: two weeks of determined struggle have done the miracle].
For this reason SI Cobas organized a demonstration in Rome on October 27, and is acting to organize a broad campaign against the security decree and repression in general, from a working class standpoint.
SI Cobas – Italy
If you are not acquainted with SI Cobas, please watch Labournet’s documentary “Ditching the Fear”: https://en.labournet.tv/ditching-fear-0
Greek translation: https://www.elaliberta.gr/%CE%B4%CE%B9%CE%B5%CE%B8%CE%BD%CE%AE/%CE%BC%CE%AD%CF%83%CE%B7-%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%AE/4999-%CE%B4%CE%B9%CF%8E%CE%BE%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9-%CE%B2%CE%B1%CF%83%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B9%CF%83%CF%84%CE%AE%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CE%B5%CE%BD%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%AF%CE%BF%CE%BD-%CE%B1%CE%B3%CF%89%CE%BD%CE%B9%CF%83%CF%84%CF%8E%CE%BD-%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%8E%CE%BD-%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85-%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%B3%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%BF%CF%8D-%CE%BA%CE%B9%CE%BD%CE%AE%CE%BC%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%82-%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF-%CE%B9%CF%81%CE%AC%CE%BD