Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Continued detention of the leadership of the Syndicate of Workers at Sherkat e Vahed (Tehran Bus Company)INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS
_ INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT FEDERATION
Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadjinejad,
President of the Republic
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98-21-18.104.22.168
TUR/JS-JK/fw 15 March 2006
Dear Mr. President,
Continued detention of the leadership of the Syndicate of Workers at Sherkat e Vahed
(Tehran Bus Company)
Exactly one month has passed since Global Unions called upon its member
organisations around the world to protest the mass arrests of Tehran bus workers during an
International Day of Trade Union Action, on 15th February 2006. Unions from all over the
world supported this initiative on or around that date in countries across five continents,
including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Chile,
Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, the
Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the United Sates. Since then, road
transport workers' unions in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen have
also joined this international trade union action.
We are pleased to see that the vast majority of those arrested are now released. It is,
nevertheless, unacceptable that the union's chairperson, Mansour Osanloo, as well as
Executive Committee members and union officials Ebrahim Madadi, Mansour Haiat Gaibi,
Yusseff Moradi, Yagoub Salimi, Ali Zat Hosseini and Mohammad Ebrahim Zat Gohari
are still under detention. Furthermore, according to our sources, the union’s spokesperson,
Golam Reza Mirzaie, was arrested at the beginning of March. In addition, it is reported that
up to 1,000 Sherkat e Vahed workers who took part in the strike have still not been able to
return to their jobs. According to some reports, the company’s management has already on
9th March issued formal dismissal orders against 46 of the striking workers and is reviewing
hundreds more cases with a similar intent. Up to 1000 workers may end up being dismissed
for having participated in the strike.
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With their strong participation in the International Action Day on 15 February, trade
unions around the world have shown their strong support for the Sherkate e Vahed bus
drivers and their demands for recognition of their union, payment of back wages and the right
to collective bargaining. These demands are fully legitimate and are the fundamental rights of
The Islamic Republic of Iran has acknowledged these fundamental rights when it
became a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and by virtue of this
membership it is under a strict obligation to respect the principles of freedom of association
and collective bargaining.
Global Unions, which represents the ICFTU, the Global Union Federations and the
Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC-OECD), therefore urges you to call on
the appropriate judicial officials to order the immediate and unconditional release of the
leadership of the union.
Furthermore, we demand that Sherkat e Vahed, now operated by the City of Teheran,
reinstate all arrested and arbitrarily dismissed workers back in their jobs.
Finally, it has also been reported that Afshin Bahrami, member of the Metalworkers'
Syndicate and Sattar Amini, an auto worker from the Iran Khodro car plant, have also been
arrested. We similarly demand that they be released.
We and our affiliates will continue to monitor these developments closely. The ICFTU
has already had meetings with European Union institutions about the arrests and continued
detention of the Sherkat e Vahed union leaders and will update them on further
developments, should your government fail to release all detained workers. It will also in due
course report these issues to the relevant supervisory bodies and mechanisms of the
International Labour Organisation.
In the meantime, we look forward to your immediate and decisive action in these
Fred Van Leeuwen
•Mr. Juan Somavia, Director General, International Labour Office, Geneva
•H.E. Manouchehr Mottaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fax: + 98.21.390.19.99
•H. E. Mr. Ali Reza Moaiyeri, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Iran to the
United Nations in Geneva, Fax: +41 22 733 02 03, E-mail:
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