Statement on the current demands of independent trade union and civil organisations in Iran
Greetings, noble and free people of Iran!
On the 44th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, the economic, political, and social foundations of the country have plunged into a vortex of crisis and disintegration. No clear and attainable vision can be imagined to end it within the framework of the existing political system. It is for this reason that the oppressed people of Iran, including women and young people who seek freedom and equality, have turned the streets all over the country into the centre of a historic and decisive struggle to end the inhumane conditions and despite regime's bloody suppression, they have not rested for a moment since five months ago (16 September 2022).
Today, these massive protests, the flag of which has been raised by women, students, teachers, workers, those seeking justice, artists, queers, writers, and all oppressed people of Iran in every part of the country from Kurdistan to Sistan and Baluchistan and has received unprecedented international support, is a protest against misogyny, gender discrimination, endless economic insecurity, labour slavery, poverty, misery, class oppression, as well as national and religious oppression. It is a revolution against any form of religious or non-religious tyranny that has been imposed on the Iranian people throughout the last century.
These massive protests happen in the context of large and modern social movements and the emergence of an invincible generation that is determined to put an end to a century-long history of backwardness and fight for a modern, prosperous and free society in Iran.
After the two great revolutions in Iran’s contemporary history, the leading social movements – including the labour, teachers’, and retirees’ movements, the women’s, students’, and youth’s equality seeking movements, as well as the movement against death penalty – have now gained a historical and decisive influence in shaping the political, economic, and social structures of the country from a grassroots level and in mass dimensions.
Thus, this movement aims to permanently end the formation of any power from above and to be the beginning of a modern, humane social revolution that frees people from all forms of oppression, discrimination, exploitation, tyranny, and dictatorship.
We, the unions, civil organizations, and institutions that have signed this charter, while focusing on the unity and interconnectedness of social movements as well as on struggling against the current inhumane and destructive situation, see the following minimum demands as the first orders and as a result of Iranian people's massive protests and also as the foundation for building a new, modern, and humane society in the country. We call upon all those who value freedom, equality, and emancipation to raise these minimum demands in factories, universities, schools, neighbourhoods, in the streets as well as in the global scene. Together, we can achieve the lofty goal of freedom.
1. The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, an end to the criminalization of political, union, and civil activities, and the public trial of those responsible for suppressing mass protests.
2. Unrestricted freedom of opinion, expression and thought, press, political parties, local and national union and mass organizations, gatherings, strikes, rallies, social networks and audio and video media.
3. The immediate abolishment of all types of death penalty, execution, and retribution, as well as the prohibition of any type of mental and physical torture.
4. Immediate declaration of equal rights of men and women on all political, economic, social, cultural and family levels; unconditional abolition of discriminatory laws and forms against sexual and gender identities and tendencies, recognition of the rainbow society of "LGBTQIA+", decriminalization of all gender belongings and tendencies and unconditional adherence to women's rights over their bodies and destiny and preventing patriarchal control.
5. Religion to be recognized as a private matter of individuals and should not be involved in the political, economic, social, and cultural decrees and laws of the country.
6. The guarantee of work safety, job security, and an immediate increase in the salaries of workers, teachers, employees, and all working and retired individuals, which should be determined with the presence, involvement, and agreement of elected representatives from their independent and national organizations.
7. The laws and attitudes based on national and religious discrimination and oppression must be abolished. The government should create proper support infrastructures and ensure fair and equal distribution of its facilities and resources to promote culture and art in all regions of the country. Furthermore, it should provide necessary and equal facilities for learning and teaching all common languages spoken in the society.
8. Dismantling the organs of repression, limiting the powers of the government, direct and permanent involvement of the people in the administration of the country's affairs through local and national councils. The dismissal of any government and non-government official by the voters at any time should be among the fundamental rights of the voters.
9. Confiscation of the property of all individuals, legal entities, government, semi-government and private institutions that have obtained the property and social wealth of the Iranian people through direct looting or government contracts. The wealth obtained from these confiscations should be immediately used for modernizing and reconstructing education, pension funds, environment, and meeting the needs of those regions and segments of the Iranian people who were deprived of equal opportunities and facilities during the two regimes of the Islamic Republic and the monarchy.
10. Ending environmental destruction, implementing fundamental policies to restore the environmental infrastructure that has been destroyed over the past hundred years, and preventing the privatization of public resources (such as pastures, beaches, forests, and foothills), which denies the people their rights to access and use them.
11. Prohibit child labour and ensure that all children have access to education and a life free from economic or social hardship, regardless of their family’s status. Establish public welfare programs that provide unemployment insurance and strong social security for all working-age people, as well as free education and healthcare for everyone.
12. Normalization of foreign relations at the highest levels with all countries of the world on the basis of fair relations and mutual respect, banning the acquisition of nuclear weapons and striving for world peace.
From our point of view, the above minimum demands can be realized immediately, considering the existence of potential and real natural wealth in the country and the existence of an informed and capable people and a generation of young people who have a lot of motivation to enjoy a happy, free and prosperous life.
The demands outlined in this manifesto include the general axes of the demands of the signatories, and obviously we will deal with them in more detail in the continuation of our struggle and solidarity.
- Coordinating Council of Trade Union Organizations of Iranian Teachers
- Independent Iranian Workers Union
- Union of Student Organizations of United Students
- Centre for human rights defenders
- Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tappeh Cane Sugar Company
- Council for Organizing Protests of Contract Oil Workers
- House of Iranian Teachers (Khafa)
- The call of Iranian women
- The independent voice of Ahvaz National Steel Group workers
- Labour rights defenders centre
- Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers Union
- Coordinating committee to help build labour organizations
- Pensioners Union
- Council of Pensioners of Iran
- Organization of progressive students
- Council of Freethinking Students of Iran
- Painters Syndicate of Alborz Province
- Committee to follow up the establishment of labor organizations in Iran
- Council of Pensioners of Social Security Organization