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Issue #1719      February 17, 2016

An Appeal:

Unite for immediate action to release the jailed workers of the Khatoon Abad copper mine in Iran

To: all progressive forces and freedom fighters

To: all members and the representatives of trade unions across the world

We are a group of former labour organisation representatives in Iran, and the present labour activists abroad. Our aim is to defend and to support the labour movement in Iran. We are asking you to sign this petition in solidarity with the Iranian jailed workers.

The Petition

The detained workers and the labour activists of the Khatoon Abad in shahr e Babak copper mines must be released immediately.

From Tuesday, January 26, 2016, until now, the 28 protesting workers of the Khatoon Abad Copper Mine have been in detention/custody. According to the available reports, and the statements by some of the detained workers’ lawyers, so far, no action has been taken by the authorities, for the release of these workers, and they are still in custody.

The workers have been working for four years on the lowest wages, for the subsidiary copper mine company, hoping to be employed by the refinery’s project. Saad Mohammadi, the former CEO of the copper company, at the beginning of the project, promised to employ all of these workers, but last year, the copper complex for the required labour force were ordered to take a recruitment exam. The workers with the knowledge that the recruitment exam could seriously jeopardise their job security, along with their families, have protested repeatedly for guaranteed job security for the past year.

Despite the initial promise from the authorities, to guarantee their job security, the 170 workers of the subsidiary copper Mine Company of the Khatoon Abad in Shahr e Babak, were laid off. Following this deception by the government’s employer, the workers, along with their families started their widespread protest. The suppressive police and the security forces of the Islamic regime, attacked the workers, beat them, and arrested 28, who are still in custody now.

In this industrial area, the repression and the denial of the workers’ rights, has a long history:

The workers in the Khatoon Abad copper Mine complex, have been faced with the fundamental dilemma/basic problems of the very hard work and uncertain job security, and their rightful demands, either have been suppressed violently, or have been unanswered by the various promises of the management of the complex, and the Government’s authorities.

The Iranian and the world’s workers remember that following the layoff of 200 workers of the Khatoon Abad Copper Mine complex of the Babak Shahr in January 2004, the dismissed workers, with their families, started their protests and sit ins. The workers after this protest action closed the Khatoon Abad’s road to the Shahr e Babak.

At this time the oppressive forces of the Islamic regime arrived with the use of a helicopter, attacked, wounded and dispersed the workers. The workers continued their protest in front of the Babak’s City Government office. The regime forces shot at the workers this time, killing four and one child. The news of the killings was published immediately across the world, and a global campaign in condemning the regime’s crime was launched.

We strongly condemn the dismissal of the 170 workers of the Khatoon Abad copper Mine Company, repression of the protesting workers, and the arrest of 28 workers of this company. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the imprisoned workers, and the labour activists.

If you are interested in signing the petition and have your name published, please contact us by the following emails:

Ali pichgah
(Former representative of the Tehran refinery council):

Morteza afshari
(Former representative of the Tehran printing workers)

Ali Mobaraki
(Former representative of the Abadan project syndicate)

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