Friday, April 06, 2007

Does Iran Share Democrat Values?

Just curious. Has anyone informed the Democratic Party that Iran is seriously anti-union? Reactions anyone? Ms. Pelosi? Mr. Edwards? Mr. Dean?

Iranian Workers Bulletin (pdf): The trial of Mansour Ossanlou, the distinguished President of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkate Vahed) began on 24 February 2007 at branch 14 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. The besieged trade unionist has been subject to a violent campaign of persecution and intimidation for his activism. During the past year alone this has included two prison terms under which he underwent torture and further intimidation by his prison guards.

Icky, icky, icky – arrest and torture of union activists! This alone should cause the peace through surrender wing of the Democrats to at least pause for reflection. It gets even worse though because union teachers are being arrested or worse, -- fired.

Hundreds of teachers were arrested on 14 March as the government escalated its suppression against the recent revolt by teachers over pay and conditions, which has witnessed a wave of demonstrations and following failed talks with the government on 13 March. The Guardian on 16 March reported that riot police accompanied with Sepah (revolutionary guards) agents swooped on demonstrators and brutally beat them with batons as they attempted to gather in front of the Parliament and Ministry of Education Ministry.

According to a Kurdish Human Rights Correspondent on 11 February 2007, 1,510 school and high school teachers in Kurdistan province … were purged out of employment on the basis of their religion (Sunni Muslims) and ideological orientation by the Islamic Republic's Security and Recruitment Organization (affiliate of the Education Office).

The management goons are not being nice to undocumented guest workers either.

The policy of fining employers and expelling illegal Afghan workers was launched by the government in November 2006. This policy has been implemented in 17 of Iran's 30 provinces; targeting specifically those regions with a high concentration of Afghan migrants. Under this plan employers are granted 15 days leave to present any Afghan Workers to the authorities from the date their breach is reported by inspectors of the Bureau for the Affairs of Aliens and Foreign Immigrants. According to various reports, 550 Revolutionary Guards (Sepah) are acting as investigators and possess the relevant authority to execute this policy.

Anti-union, anti-immigrant, and intolerant of differing religious belief. What’s not to love?