Iran: labor repression at Alborz tire plant

From the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI), April 14:

About 30 workers of Alborz Tire Manufacturing Company were released on April 14th after signing letters promising not to get involved in any protest actions against their employer. It is reported that about 10 other workers are still incarcerated.

Workers at the Alborz Tire Manufacturing Company have been protesting against non-payment of their wages for the past five months or even more. On April 12th workers had set tires on fire demanding their unpaid wages and that the CEO of company to directly negotiate with workers. In the evening, the security forces stormed into the factory, breaking and bringing down walls of the company (and repairing them immediately after to cover up their acts), and arrested hundreds of striking workers. Many workers were beaten badly by police. For the first 36 hours following their arrests, their families had no news or updates about them. Most of these workers have since been released conditionally. Arrested workers were questioned by the authorities in order to identify the strike’s organizers and leaders. At this time, there are reports that only 10 workers continue to be in detention and 6 fire fighters who refused to disperse workers with hot water cannons have also been arrested. Since the protests took place Alborz Tire agreed to pay two month of overdue wages but still owes workers three months of pay. The attack on workers was so violent and arrests so outrageous that even government sponsored labour agencies ended up protesting against it.

Alborz Tire Manufacturing Company was initially established in 1958 by a joint venture under the name of American B.F Goodridge Company to manufacture bias tires. In 1977 the name was changed to Kian Tire manufacturing Company. In 1979, the company went under the state-owned National Iranian Industries Organization. In 1994 company’s shares were sold to private owners. In 2001 its name changed to Alborz Tire Manufacturing Company. The factory is located on Saveh Road 10th km from Tehran. The company claims that it is expanding production and its size and is linked to international tire manufacturing corporations. It currently has more than 1,200 employees. Alborz Tire also claims that they have a “cheerful and friendly working atmosphere to chance employee involvements participation”. By not paying their employees for over 5 months and beating and arresting hundreds of their employees they very clearly are showing what they mean by being “cheerful and friendly”.

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