Concerning Global Dialogue about the “Global May Manifesto”
Global May Manifesto has invited “peoples’ assemblies around the world for discussions, revisions and endorsements”. As a step to open discussions about a global charter or, as you may call it, manifesto, we as a small workers’ assembly in Iran, while supporting this statement, send you our charter of demands in order to be published in your website.
Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization
The Charter of the Basic Demands of the Working Class of Iran
The attack of capitalism on the workers’ livelihood becomes more widespread day by day, and the workers are driven more and more to the depths of hunger and poverty and the resulted death. On the one side of the society, there is a huge accumulation of wealth and, on the other side, we see unprecedented poverty, adversity, disfranchisement, repression and savagery. Naturally, this unjust situation leads the workers to a spontaneous struggle against capitalism. There is no day that goes by without congregations, sit-ins, strikes, rallies of the workers. Moreover, workers participated actively – even if individually – in the political protests against the Islamic Republic following the president election of June 2009.
However, the workers’ struggles in Iran are scattered and unorganized. The workers do not enjoy any anti- capitalist organizations, not even traditional unions. One of the reasons for not achieving much in the way of results from all these struggles lies precisely in this point. It is obvious that so long as the workers’ struggles remain localized and scattered even all the devotions and sacrifices do not lead to any achievements. The first step for uniting and getting organized against capital and thus pushing back the continued attacks on the livelihood of workers is to hoist a flag, a countrywide charter containing the basic working class demands.
The essence of any anti-capitalist demand is that the workers are seeking what the capitalists have taken from them, that is, surplus labor. Through these demands, then, the workers are telling the capitalists and their state that they must give back what they have unrightfully taken. This is how the workers, in their spontaneous struggles, challenge the capitalist order. In every moment of their lives and in their many different ways, workers challenge capitalism: “While I work someone else steals the benefit”, “While I produce the wealth of society I have no share in it”. It is from this point of view that we as a small part of the working class have compiled this charter of demands. We believe that realization of these demands via workers’ anti-capitalist councils, based on general assemblies, should increase the material and intellectual capabilities of the workers in order to fight for abolishing the social relation of capital.
The basic demands of working class of Iran in the present conditions are as follows:
- Complete separation of the religion from the state, i.e., complete secularization of the state through regarding religion as a private affair of individuals.
- Unconditional political freedoms such as freedoms of conscience, expression, press, association, strike, rally, sit-in, demonstration and march for all the individuals.
- Unconditional freedom of all the political prisoners, prohibition of any kind of torture and dissolution of all the organizations executing torture.
- Foundation of all the judicial affairs on the modern and secular laws, prohibition of extending the concept of crime to the political and press activities, dissolution of special courts, openness of all the courts and attendance of juries in them, free selection of desired lawyer and free legal procedure.
- Abolition of the execution penalty.
- Abolition of any sexual discrimination against women, which requires :
- Equal rights of women and men in all laws including labor, family and criminal laws.
- Any government intervention in the choice of lifestyle including clothing and the relationships between men and women or boys and girls must be prohibited.
- Forming a family or ending a relationship must be by mutual and free agreement with equal rights for all concerned.
- Prohibition of any kind of marriage before the age of 18.
- Women’s domestic labor must be ended; till then, all housewives must receive wages equal to those of the rest of the workers.
- Secure houses with appropriate facilities along with education, medical care and adequate pensions till providing employment and independent life in order to support violated women and girls running away from home.
- All child labor and employment under the age of 18 must be abolished.
- Recognition of the rights of the ethnic and religious minorities with the aim of planning to eliminate their deprivation in all political, economic, social and cultural respects.
- Adequate housing with full utilities including electricity, water, furnishings, and means of communication is the inalienable right of every worker. This will require:
- The use of government buildings for workers’ housing.
- The government to allocate an adequate percentage of its annual budget to build new houses for the workers.
- Free health care and medicine for all.
- Free education at all levels.
- Free transportation for all.
- Free day care for all.
- Free caring facilities for the elderly, disabled, and handicapped.
- Necessary welfare facilities such as road, water, electricity, gas, telephone and educational, health, cultural, sport and recreational centers in all villages.
- Determination of minimum monthly wage on the basis of the wealth workers have created for the society (GDP) and devotion of adequate proportion of this wealth to the elevation of the level of the livelihood and welfare of the workers.
- Regular monthly payment to all children under 18 years.
- Social security including pensions for retired, disabled and unemployed. These pensions should not be less than the minimum monthly wage.
- Abolition of any temporary contract work.
- Free food and transport services for all the employed individuals.
Coordinating Committee to Form Workers’ Organization