Posts Tagged ‘Truck drivers protests’

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Second round of strikes by truck drivers in Iran

Iran: Continues for Fourth Day

Second round of strikes by truck drivers in Iran

Truck drivers have gone to strike for the second time in the past few months because the government has been not addressed their concerns.

Thursday, July 26th, marked the fourth consecutive day of protests by Iran’s truck drivers. The latest round of strikes by truck drivers is currently taking place in at least 85 cities in 25 provinces across Iran.

The truck drivers held an earlier strike in late May, which lasted for eleven days. The drivers have been forced to strike again because the government has been unwilling or unable to address their concerns.

The new round of strikes is in protest of unchanged transportation fees and increased costs. The drivers cite an increase in the price of truck tires and parts as major concerns and are asking for subsidies for the price of tires for their trucks.

In an interview with the state-run ILNA news agency on Wednesday, July 25, Ahmad Karimi, the chairman of the Iran Truck Drivers Association, said that the regime’s Industry Ministry has not fulfilled its obligations to Iran’s truck drivers. He said that “most dissatisfactions are due to the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade’s performance, as the ministry has failed to fulfill its commitments.”

The truck drivers say that an insufficient supply of tires has led to a black market. According to the drivers, there is not enough subsidized foreign currency to import tires, nor is there sufficient means to distribute them.

ILNA news agency reported on Tuesday that truck drivers in a number of terminals stopped work in protest and refused to load their trucks. Truck drivers parked their trucks on roadsides and asked their co-workers to join their strike. The report was taken off of the website shortly after it was posted.

Also on Tuesday, the Iranian Workers Free Trade Union reported on its Telegram channel that truck drivers in Farokhshahr, Chaharmahal, Bakhtiari, Marand, Qazvin, and Isfahan stopped loading their trucks. Officials handed out subsidized truck tires in Mashhad’s terminal at the same time, in an attempt to appease the drivers and break the strike.

The Iranian regime has taken a number of measures to break the strike over the past four days. The regime’s authorities sold cheap tires in the terminal in Mashhad, but no drivers showed up for loading.

In Sarbandar, Khuzestan province, regime officials used Ministry of Transportation trucks to confront the striking drivers. The regime used government trucks to do the same in Shahrekord.

In Kermanshah, intelligence agents and the police attempted to remove license plates from striking drivers’ trucks, but the truck drivers’ families protested the move.

The head of the regime’s transportation union, Mohammad Khanbalooki, tried to claim that more than 70 percent of truck drivers’ demands had been met and their major problems had been resolved, even as the drivers continued to strike. He claimed that the MEK was responsible for the continuance of the strike and that the MEK had infiltrated the drivers.

The regime’s attempts to break the strike have been unsuccessful, and they have yet to address the drivers’ demands. The MEK salutes the striking truck drivers and encourages trade unions and labor unions in other countries to support them in their goals.

Staff Writer

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Iranian truck drivers go on strike again.

Iran’s Lorry Drivers Resume Their Strike

Iranian truck drivers go on strike again.

The truck drivers in Iran, have resumed their strike against their dire condition, high prices and regime’s corruption.

The truck and lorry drivers of Iran turned off their engines once more on Monday the 23rd of July. Less than two months after their last round of strikes, the drivers decided to strike once more, with news of the strike spreading quickly around Iran’s provinces in the early hours of Monday morning.

By the time the workday was due to begin, drivers across the country including in Tehran, Kurdistan, Isfahan, Kerman, Khuzestan, and Hormozgan refused to begin their workday and resumed the nationwide strike.

The latest round of strikes

In late May and early June, truck and lorry drivers across all 31 of Iran’s provinces went on strike for two weeks. Their grievances stemmed from low wages, appalling working conditions, poor worker safety, rising expenses, and the gradual erosion of worker rights.

The mullahs’ damaging policies have left the nation’s truck drivers fighting for their livelihoods. Inflation has made an already difficult economic situation even worse. In addition to soaring inflation, truck drivers have to deal with the arbitrary expenses imposed by the mullahs, including commissions, tariffs, and tolls. The mullahs have systematically robbed Iran’s truck drivers of their profits, leaving many struggling to survive in lives of extreme poverty.

The strike brought the country to a standstill. Factories and businesses across Iran had to close, and petrol stations ran dry, causing huge queues for fuel outside stations which still had a supply.

The regime responded to the strike with its usual repressive measures. Drivers reported intimidation and threats. Agents of the regime burnt vehicles which belonged to the striking drivers. They resorted to making false promises and concessions; however, their intentions were transparent, and the drivers resolve would not be broken.

The Iranian public stands with the striking drivers

Despite the turmoil that the truck drivers’ strike wreaked on the Iranian economy and logistics sector, the Iranian public stood with the brave drivers and wholeheartedly supported their fight for fairer working conditions.

The Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, offered messages of solidarity to the striking drivers. Rajavi tweeted, “hail to the truck drivers”, adding, “I urge my fellow compatriots to support and rise in solidarity with the toiling drivers”.

The drivers also received international support for their struggle. Teamsters, the strongest worker union in North America also issued a statement of support. It read: “Teamsters stand in solidarity with our Iranian brother[s] & sisters”.

The response this time will likely be as encouraging and supportive as it was in the last round of strikes. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) already issued a statement on Monday saluting the striking drivers. In its statement, the NCRI called on the Iranian youth, as well as the international community and as workers unions around the world to “protect these drivers and to condemn the anti-humanitarian policies of the mullahs’ regime.”

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Truck drivers protest in solidarity with their fellow truck drivers in more than 240 cities.

MEK – Iran Protests Rise by %233 During The Month of May

Truck drivers protest in solidarity with their fellow truck drivers in more than 240 cities.

Striking truck drivers raise their hands in solidarity with other strikers in more then 240 cities across the country.

Reports from MEK network inside Iran indicate a major rise in protests in Iran in comparison to the month of April. A report by “our Iran” confirms the rise in protests in the month of May.

Our Iran published a summary highlighting the increase in protest activities in May. The month of May saw protests spread like wildfire across Iran’s urban and rural population. 1093 individual protests took place, an average of 35 a day, with people from all walks of Iran’s population putting down their work and taking part. Poultry workers stood aside truck drivers, laborers, and teachers, united in their shared disgust for the tyrannical regime.

There has been a marked increase in protest activity. April saw an average of 15 protests a day across Iran. May more than doubled this figure. The bulk of the May protests came from striking truck drivers, whose strikes affected 285 of Iran’s cities.

Striking Truck Drivers

Between May 22nd and June 2nd, heavy vehicle drivers in all 31 of Iran’s provinces put down their keys and turned off their engines in an act of defiance. They had plenty to protest. The mullahs have increased insurance prices, highway tolls, and cargo commission rates, in a thinly-veiled attempt to further line their own pockets. Illegal charges, job shortages, and exorbitant vehicle repair prices left the truck drivers with little money for themselves.

The plight of the nation’s truck drivers attracted the attention of other industry sectors. The leader of Iran opposition, Maryam Rajavi, pledged her support and encouraged others to stand with the drivers in a gesture of solidarity. As a result, taxi drivers, minibus drivers, and petrol truck delivery drivers joined the strike, leaving gas stations empty and long queues of cars waiting to fill up.

Tehran’s Taxi Drivers Strike

Taxi drivers at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport also put down their keys to protest their inability to enter the traffic area to pick up patrons. Their plight also inspired others, with taxi drivers across Iran joining their cause, and that of the truck drivers. Taxi drivers in a total of 11 provinces joined the strike in protest at their own appalling working conditions.

A Wide Array of Labour Protests

May saw no less than 249 individual labor protests across 62 of Iran’s cities. The majority of these were born from discontent over non-payment of salaries, unfair dismissals, and closures of factories. Railway workers, coal miners, sugarcane workers and factory workers were among those that coordinated strikes against the regime.

Protestors from Plundered Investors

38 separate protests came from plundered investors. These investors lost their savings after the mullahs looted credit institutions. In Rasht, angry protestors tore down a statue of the head of the central bank of Iran, Saif. In Tehran, demonstrators threw eggs and tomatoes at the doors of the monetary prosecutor’s office, the Trade Bank, and the Future Bank. In another protest, investors conducted a sit-in outside the Central Bank. They blocked the street, and cars prevented cars from moving.

Protests from the Elderly

On May 11th, the retired population of Iran took to the streets to vent frustrations of their own. Pensioners in Iran frequently do not receive payments, and when they do, they are so meagre that they are forced to live in appalling conditions. Retired teachers, steelworkers, and petrochemical workers took to the streets to demand a fairer and more reliable pension system.

Teachers Protests

Teachers accounted for 38 protests across 34 cities in May, a fivefold increase of teacher strike activity for April. The Council for the Coordination of Teachers Organizations called on teachers across Iran to strike over unpaid wages, discrimination, and limited job stability. Like the MEK, the Council has been instrumental in coordinating resistance to the clerical regime.

The teachers faced a violent response from the regime’s agents. They targeted the striking education workers and beat them up, targeting female teachers. Many of those in attendance, including members of the Teacher’s Association, were arrested for their involvement in the protests.

Student Resistance

Iran’s student population was also vocal in its criticism of the clerical regime. They raged against systematic corruption, the regime’s involvement in university affairs, the plundering of student’s tuition, cutting educational terms, and the unplanned movement of university locations. 12 cities saw student protests in May, showing a renewed determination from Iran’s youth to risk their lives and their freedom to have their opinions heard.

Tehran’s Market Strike

On May 12th, Iran’s shopkeepers and market stall owners closed their stalls and shops for business. They were protesting a high exchange rate and significant price fluctuations, causing economic uncertainty for them and their families.

Iconic shopping areas of Tehran were deserted. The Kuwaiti Bazaar, Sadaf Passage, sections of Cyrus Street, and the Aladdin Passage were among the areas affected by the strike. Merchants in Baneh continued their strike after the closure of border crossings impacted their supply routes. They lifted the strike after the regime promised to address their demands. However, when the regime failed to deliver any reforms, they merchants and shopkeepers of Baneh resumed their strike on May 15th, in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Tehran.

Kazerun’s Protests

Kazerun became the site of clashes between the regime’s forces and the enraged Iranian public. After protestors gathered to air their discontent at plans to divide the city, the Iranian security forces opened fire on those in attendance. Four citizens were killed, starting a period of public mourning which saw the local amenities shuttered.

The people got their wish. The government backed down on its plans to divide the city. However, it cost four martyrs their lives and many more their freedom after the authorities carried out widespread arrests.

Shahrud’s Protests

Merchants at the Shahrud Grand Bazaar went on strike over the regime’s proposal to move the Roads and Transport Department out of Shahrud. The Iranian authorities wanted to move the government department to Semnan, taking with it many of Shahrud’s employment opportunities. After intense public pressure, the regime conceded and backed down on its plans to move the department.

Naser Malek Motie’s Funeral

On May 27th, the Iranian public turned out for the funeral of Iranian film icon, Naser Malek Motie. The actor and cinematographer suffered at the hands of the Iranian regime throughout his life and represented a beacon for supporters of the opposition movement. The funeral soon turned into an anti-government protest as those in attendance began chanting anti-government slogans. Agents loyal to the regime attempted to disperse the crowd, firing tear gas, however, the brave mourners would not be moved.

The tireless work of the MEK orchestrated the May protests, providing Iran’s youth with a beacon of hope for a brighter future for Iran. The growing number of protests in May shows the burning desire for regime change in Iran, despite all the repressive measures has not changed, but grown by 233% in comparison to the protests in April.

Staff Writer

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ITF's solidarity message to the striking truck drivers in Iran

MEK- Unions Support Truck Drivers’ Strike in Iran

ITF's solidarity message to the striking truck drivers in Iran

The International Transport Workers’ Federation, on behalf of the 20 million transport workers worldwide that our organisation represents, stands in full solidarity with the truck drivers of Iran as they enter a tenth day of strikes.

June 1st marked the Eleventh day of strikes by Iranian truck drivers. The truckers began their strike in protest of poor wages amidst rising expenses, as well as safety and workers’ rights issues. The strike has gathered steam over the past eleven days, spreading from the Qazvin, Lorestan, East Azerbaijan and Mazandaran areas in its first days to 280 cities in every province today.

The strike has caused major disruption to businesses across Iran, with many factories and businesses being forced to close. Fuel shortages in the first days of the strike led to gas station closures and long lines at the pump. Despite this upheaval, reports show that the public has been largely supportive. The striking drivers have also received support from influential unions and organizations in the transport industry. On Tuesday, May 29th, the Teamsters tweeted their support of the striking drivers in Iran:

“Iranian truck drivers in 25 provinces and 160 cities have been on strike over low pay, rising operating costs, increased tolls and other regulatory fees. #Teamsters stand in #solidarity with our Iranian brother & sisters!… @AdenaNima @ITFglobalunion #1u”

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) joined the Teamsters in declaring their solidarity with the striking workers in a statement on Thursday. Noel Coard, head of inland transport for the ITF, spoke about the issues facing truck drivers in Iran as part of his statement on behalf of the ITF: “Truckers’ wages are not enough to cover their expenses. Together with the vast majority of ordinary Iranians, they have been suffering the impact of ongoing inflation and price hikes.”

Coard went on to address safety issues: “At the same time, many trucks are in poor condition, needing spare parts and repairs. Alongside poor weather conditions, border area security problems and a general lack of road safety, Iranian truckers endure unacceptable working conditions.”

Coard also spoke of the role of unions in protecting truckers’ rights: “Workers’ rights, including the right of independent trade unions to represent their members, are key to resolving these issues.”

The ITF represents 20 million transport workers worldwide. The powerful union has previously worked to address the issues of road safety and low wages in the transport industry. It unveiled a supply chain accountability initiative in December 2016, which is being rolled out by the ITF with affiliated trade unions.

Truck drivers in Iran have vowed to continue their strike until their demands are met. After ten days, the strike shows no signs of ending. In fact, the strike continues to spread across the country, gathering support despite the widespread disruption caused by the absence of these vital workers.

Staff Writer

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Iranian diaspora will gather to support Iran Protests

Europe Must Not Become the Jimmy Carter of 1977

Iranian diaspora will gather to support Iran Protests

Iranians in Europe and America, will gather in Paris this June to show support for Iran Protests

In 1977, Iran was on the precipice of change. Yet on December 31st, US President Jimmy Carter described Iran as an “island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world”. Ironically, just a few months later, Iran would become engulfed in protests against the Shah’s regime and the country, which once appeared so stable, underwent drastic changes.

Today, Iran appears to be in a similar situation to 1978. Protests litter Iran. The people take to the streets at every given opportunity to display their displeasure towards the Iranian regime. On Sunday, May 27th, the Iranian public gathered to celebrate the life of film star, Naser Malek Motiei at a large public funeral service. It quickly transformed into a demonstration against the mullahs and their clerical regime, as protesters began chanting “death to the dictator, hail to Naser!”

Elsewhere, a truck driver strike has raged for more than a week. Truck drivers went on strike in hundreds of cities across all 31 Iranian provinces to vent their frustration at poor working conditions and unfair tariffs imposed by the regime. Despite petrol stations sitting empty, and long queues, the drivers have the support of the people. They know the difficulty Iran’s industries are facing without the existence of trade unions and the greedy mullahs imposing harsh taxes, fees, and tariffs at every opportunity.

In Kazerun, initial protests against the regime grew in intensity after the Iranian security forces opened fire on protestors. Four protestors were killed in the incident, leading to further public outcry and demonstrations at the martyr’s funerals.

In the last full week of May, there were more than 489 individual acts of defiance and protest against the regime. This amounted to some 69 protests every day. They were not limited by geography or demographic either, students, farmers, teachers, truck drivers, and shopkeepers were among those that took to the streets. In Tehran itself, strikes from local market stall owners left many shops and stalls closed.

The Regime’s Repressive Measures Will Not Work This Time

The regime has responded to the widespread protests with violent reprisals and repressive measures. They arrested protestors, fired on them with live ammunition, resorted to threats and blackmail, and carried out torture on suspects in prison. But the people will not be deterred.

Fury drives the Iranian public. Fury at their economic circumstances, poverty is rife across Iran, as is unemployment and drought. They know that without regime change, they have no chance of escaping a life of poverty. The mullahs’ and Rouhani’s regime divert the flow of money into their own pockets. Corruption is widespread. Until these issues are addressed, the people will not be silenced. This is why the regime’s violence and barbaric suppression tactics will not work.

The more protests erupt, the more the people can see regime change on the horizon. Each act of protest inspires the next. This momentum in Iran’s opposition movement is loosening the mullahs’ grip on power.

The most recent spate of protests has also been far better organized and coordinated than anything in Iran’s history. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) has played a central role in the organization of the protests. With a strong organizational network and widespread public support, the protest movement can only get stronger.

Europe’s Role

Europe is in danger of echoing Jimmy Carter’s position in 1977. The Iranian public has demonstrated their hunger for regime change. The protest movement within Iran is gathering steam, and the position of the mullahs looks untenable.

Europe would be well-placed to avoid financial investment in Iran. Iran has no future with Rouhani and his cronies. The sooner Europe realizes that, the better.

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Truck driver's strike continues.

A Summary of Last Week’s Massive Protests

Truck driver's strike continues.

The nationwide truck drivers strike enters it’s second week despite increasing repressive measures by the regime.

On Monday, May 28th, Our Iran published a report on the protests that took place in Iran last week. More than 489 protests were held in the one week period, with an average of 69 protests each day. Truck drivers, workers, and others who have suffered at the hands of the Iranian regime turned out in droves in cities across Iran to protest the economic policies of the corrupt government.

The protests can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Labor: 33 protests
  • Looted citizens: 9 protests
  • Retirees: 4 protests
  • Teachers: 1 protest
  • Students: 4 protests
  • Political prisoners: 3 protests
  • Truck drivers: 406 protests
  • Others: 29 protests

Truck Driver Strike

Based on reports from the MEK network, on May 22nd, truck drivers from several cities went on strike, pledging to continue the strike until their demands were met. Truck drivers cited a number of reasons for their strike, including low freight weights, unjust cargo distribution, reduced driver wages, and excessive price increases for tires and spare parts.

The strike has been massive in scale, taking place in at least 242 cities and 31 provinces. A total of 406 protest activities by the striking drivers have been held over the first six days of the strike.

The cohesiveness of the striking drivers and their actions to prevent other drivers from breaking the strike have been notable. Also worth noting is the drivers’ refusal to submit to government intimidation, even in the face of beatings by government agents.

The effects of the strike were almost immediate, with fuel shortages beginning on the second day of the strike. Some gas stations were forced to close completely, while those who remained open had long lines. On the fifth day, bus drivers in several cities began to strike in solidarity with the truckers. Drivers working for factories and companies also joined the strike, causing shutdowns and disruptions in the affected businesses.

Those participating in the truck driver strike include:

  • National Distribution Company of Oil Products drivers in the Isfahan Region;
  • Terminal tank truck drivers in Bandar Shahpour;
  • Mobarakeh Steel drivers;
  • Isfahan refinery Co-operative drivers;
  • Isfahan refinery fuel carriers;
  • Minibus and taxis drivers in Yazd and Shiraz;
  • Terminal truck drivers in Khuzestan;
  • Truck drivers in Khash city located in Sistan and Baluchestan;
  • Snapp taxi drivers in Isfahan;
  • Persi Iran Gas Company gas transportation drivers (Persi is the main supplier of gas in Iran);
  • Tractor drivers in Varzaneh;
  • Hamadan Steel Industries drivers;
  • Charcoal truck drivers in Zarand, Kerman;
  • Sugar factory truck drivers in Shahrekord;
  • Pasargad Cold Storage Cooperative drivers;
  • Truck drivers of refrigerated vehicles in Tehran;
  • Caspian Steel truck drivers in Sirjan.

Uprising in Kazerun

Funerals for Omid Reza Yousefian, Ali Mohammadian Azad and Mehdi Hadi Javanteb, martyrs of the Kazerun uprising, were held last week. The widely attended funerals turned into protests against the government, with mourners chanting: “Death to Yazid of the era!” “Death to the dictator!” and “My martyred brother, I’ll take your revenge.”

Merchants’ Strike

Tehran markets were disrupted last week by strikes by Jafari Market, Soltani market and Amir Kabir market. Some malls also participated in the strike, as well the Qom, Isfahan, Jolfa and Maku markets, which shut down their shops. The strike was in protest of the stagnant financial market caused by the regime’s policies.

Railway Workers’ Strike

Traverse Railway strikes have been ongoing and continued last week. Workers in Semnan, Shahroud and Damghan are participating in the strike, which is in protest of nonpayment or delayed payment of wages and rising insurance premiums.

Staff Writer


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