Iran accused of "terror tactics" against union
GENEVA (Reuters) - Global labour grouping ICFTU on Tuesday complained to the U.N.'s International Labour Organisation (ILO) over what it said was a "terror campaign" in Iran to crush an independent trade union.
In a letter to ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, the grouping said the president of the Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company had been jailed since December and union meetings had been broken up by police and vigilantes.
In a statement on the letter, the Brussels-based ICFTU said it was making its formal complaint to the ILO -- to which Iran belongs -- because of the Tehran government's "use of terror tactics" against the union.
The union, founded in 1968 but dissolved by the authorities after Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, had been subjected to "an ongoing campaign of harassment, arrests and physical attacks" since it was relaunched last year.
"The Iranian government is mistaken if it believes that a continued campaign of terrorising (the union) workers will stifle ... their resolve to fight for their fundamental rights," ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder said.
The Iranian union, supported by around half the bus company's 16,000 workers, is a member of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), an affiliate of the ICFTU -- the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
The letter to Somavia said that since 1979 no independent labour unions had been permitted in Iran and the official "Workers House" organisation "is essentially a channel for the government to control the workers".
The ILO has no enforcement mechanism but countries generally seek to avoid condemnation. ILO officials said they would not comment on the letter until it had been formally received, although they were aware it had been sent.
Posted at 09:10 pm by waterworld