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Iran truckers’ strike not isolated incident

By INU Staff

INU- The latest Iranian truckers’ strike has spread to 290 cities in 31 provinces across the country- with Tabriz, Kerman, Bandar Abbas, Arak, Kazerun, Qazvin, Sari, Ahvaz, and Abhar the latest to join - with striking workers calling for the same demands they made in July and August, during the last strike.

On October 3, Jamal Hamidi, director of the loading station in Bandar Khomeini of Khuzestan Province, said: “On Sunday, most truck drivers at the loading station went on strike. While 2,000 trucks are active in this loading station each day, only 300 accepted to load any goods on Sunday.”

The Regime wants desperately to break the truckers’ strike and had made hundreds of arrests so far, even threatening the death penalty, but they refuse to make any concessions towards the better working conditions that the strikers desire.

Instead, mullahs like the regime’s Chief Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri and judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei have seen fit to slander the truckers and claim that they were provoked by “enemies” of the Regime.

Of course, what they fail to take on board here is that the Iranian people are all enemies of the Regime.

Colonel Kavos Mohammadi, a deputy of the Fars provincial police force, said: “Police will deal with sensitivity and vigilance with the smallest insecurity factors in coordination with the judiciary, and the process of confronting with the disrupters of order and security of the roads and axes of Fars province will continue on a daily basis.

The police monitor and control all the roads in this province, visibly and invisibly, and resolutely deal with all elements of disrupters of order and security in these areas.”

Demands
So, what could the truckers be asking for that is so outlandish that the Regime’s only response is to arrest or execute them? Their demands include:
• a better wage, to help them cope with increased living costs
• the ability to buy spare parts and tires through the low government exchange rate
• decreased truck prices
• increased pensions
• free elections in the truckers’ guild
• increased road safety and security
• supervision over fees demanded by transportation companies
• decreased commissions for loads and renovating the truck fleet
• permanent fuel rations for transport trucks
• decreased highway tolls
• more control over the process of load terminals
• health and recreational facilitation for the drivers at loading stations
• punishments for authorities that bribe drivers
The list might be long, but it’s hardly outrageous. It shows that the truckers are fed up with the Regime.

This is also true for the rest of the country, with the majority of Iranian workers’ unions supporting the strikes, including the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC), Haft Tapeh Sugar Refinery Workers Syndicate, and the teacher's unions.
The strike has also garnered support from abroad, with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) expressing their support for the strikers and concern for their welfare.

Reza Shafiee, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), wrote: “It is a big mistake to see the truckers’ strike as an isolated incident. It is well connected to other protests taking place every day in Iran because they have the same roots. The country has been in turmoil since January and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is trying very hard to play it down.”

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