From 2005-2008, the Solidarity Center supported the efforts of the global labor movement to bring the world’s attention to the plight of Iranian working women and men, highlighting the egregious violations of basic worker rights in Iran.
Solidarity Center currently has no program work in Iran. For continuing, up to date coverage of trade union issues in Iran, please visit:
The Iranian labor movement is over a century old, dating to 1906 when the first union was founded by Mohammad Parvaneh and a group of workers in a small print shop on Nasseri Street in Tehran. The past two decades have seen a resurgence of labor activism as mounting societal and economic pressures have escalated the need for organized worker representatives. Global and domestic economic trends, such as privatization and downsizing, as well as Iran’s predominantly young population, are factors in record-high unemployment, dwindling respect for fundamental worker rights, and a host of other labor related issues for Iran’s 19.5million member workforce. The established Isalmic workers’ councils, favored by the government, have disregarded these developments, and most Iranians feel that they are not true worker representatives.
Although Iran is a member of the International Labor Organization, it has not yet ratified ILO Conventions No.87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize) or No.98 (Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining). Many Iranian worker demands continue to claim these basic worker rights.
On March 6, 2008, thousands of workers raised their voices in a Global Day of Action in support of worker rights in Iran. View a photo gallery of the 2008 Global Day of Action.
Learn about the struggle of the independent bus driver’s union Vahed
, whose brave officials continue to endure severe government repression.
Unions around the World Celebrate Release of Iranian Union Leader.
June 9, 2011—Mansour Osanloo, president of the Vahed Syndicate in Tehran, was released from Evin Prison nearly four years after his arrest and conviction on charges of “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state.” In reality, says the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), his only offense was to help found a genuinely democratic trade union.
Learn more about the struggle of Iranian teachers, who were imprisoned after a peaceful rally for higher wages and better working conditions.
Learn more about the struggle of the Bakery Workers’ Union in Kurdistan, whose leader, Mahmoud Salehi, is suffering in prison on trumped-up charges.