Textile workers in Iran are on hunger strike and have occupied factory

The Behshahr textile workers who had organised a sit-in and occupied the textile factory on Saturday May 17, 2003 have begun a hunger strike since 15 May.

The workers have declared that they will continue their strike until their legitimate demands are fully met and will not allow employers or government officials to enter the factory. According to news received by the Worker-communist Party of Iran, the people of Behshahr are expressing their full support for the striking workers. The city is on the edge as the workers are owed more than 6 million dollars. Officials of the Islamic regime of Iran have given assurances that unpaid wages would be paid on numerous occasions but the only thing that the Islamic regime has actually delivered is the suppression of the workers. A government official who announced news of the strike and stated that 'the workers are exerting psychological and emotional pressure on the government' and that 'some who have a problem are trying to upset the life of the city' attempted to threaten the striking workers.

It must be said that the Behshahr textile workers have not been paid for 27 months; of the billions of Tomans owed to the workers, the regime has only agreed to pay half a million dollars the time being and the rest when the land belonging to the factory is sold in the distant future. The Behshahr textile factory employs more than 2000 workers.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls on all workers and the progressive people to support the textile workers of Behshahr by any means possible. Pass resolutions; send financial support as well as messages of solidarity to the striking workers and their families. Other workers and the people of Behshahr should assemble at the gate of the factory and put pressure on the government, galvanise huge support for the textile workers and help the workers so that they do not have to continue with their hunger strike. We must force the Islamic regime to retreat. Non-payment of the workers' wages is a criminal offence. All of the unpaid wages plus compensation must be paid at once!

Worker-communist party of Iran

18 May 2003