Sunday, October 28, 2007
Road transport workers demand freedom for Iranian trade unionist25 October 2007
Road transport workers around the world last week pledged solidarity with Iranian trade union leader Mansour Osanloo who remains in detention in Iran.
As part of the ITF’s international road transport action week held from 15-21 October, unions participated in the ITF’s “Free Osanloo” badge campaign. The campaign symbolises the repression against Mansour Osanloo and other Iranian trade unionists – including Ebrahim Madadi and Mahmoud Salehi, both of whom are also in prison.
Actions included: a lobby by 10,000 Norwegian workers who wore the Free Osanloo badge to work; a protest rally in front of the Iranian embassy in Brussels, Belgium, involving 200 European trade unionists; and the presentation of a protest letter to the Iranian ambassador by a Central American union delegation attending a meeting of the ITF and the Danish trade union 3F in Managua, Nicaragua.
In Australia, unions organised press conferences expressing support for Iranian workers, while in Seoul, Korea, activists from two road transport unions distributed badges and leaflets to bus and taxi drivers. Workers in Morocco also signed a protest letter addressed to the Iranian President.
Earlier this week, the ITF received reports that Mansour Osanloo had received emergency eye treatment on Saturday. This step followed protests from the union movement and human rights organisation Amnesty International about prisoners being denied medical treatment and was welcomed by the ITF.
ITF Inland Transport Section Secretary Mac Urata commented: “It was the collective efforts of the ITF, the International Trade Union Confederation, unions and Amnesty International that led to Mansour having his eye surgery.”
“The action week is over but we would certainly like to see union members continuing to wear the Free Osanloo badge at their workplace.”
Last week, the ITF released its promotional video, "Freedom will come - the story of Mansour Osanloo". It is can also be viewed on Youtube and will soon be available in DVD format.