Different currents and trends of the left of capital, after the events of
the presidential elections, have tried to undermine the workers' class
struggle, take advantage of the situation, to own the anti-dictatorship
struggle (their democracy) and put the power and potential of the
working class in the service of their own anti dictatorship movement.
Democratic Movement is a movement of bourgeois, anti-proletarian and
actually it is a counterrevolutionary movement.
The fact is that two class movements exist in the society, the
movement of Democracy and the movement of working class. We have
already mentioned that the proletariat must take initiative and
give its imprint to the historical events. So wrote:
“In the case of people protests and movements if the working class
dissolves itself in the Democratic and libertarian movements, it will
not weaken the bourgeoisie but the proletariat itself.”
In the recent months with decline of anti-dictatorship movement, the
movement of working class has assumed a more independent form. Class
struggle although defensively is growing and the proletariat puts its
role on the historical developments even very slowly. In the past six
months despite of an unbridled suppression, we have been witnessed a
series of protests and strikes of the workers across of the country.
The most important protests and strikes occurred in the petrochemical
Saturday 26th February 2011, 1400 contract workers at the Tabriz
Petrochemical Complex in protest to the "temporary contract" went
to strike. The strikers demanded "direct and collective contract"
in order to receive the same benefits and job security provisions
to which the permanent employed workers were entitled. When the
empty promises of management and government officials failed,
management tried to use of dirty trick against worker, use of
strike-breaker. So they tried to replace the striking workers
at Tabriz Petrochemical Complex with the refinery workers of
Tabriz Petrochemical but the workers of refinery did not do that.
The strike lasted eleven days, which with promise to fulfil the
demands of striking workers, strike ended.
On the 9 April 2011, around two thousand petrochemical workers
at the Mahshahr Petrochemical Complex went to strike. The demands
of strikers were ratification of directly contract and
cancellation of the temporary contracts. This strike was
continuing of their protest on March 2011that with empty
promises and to excuse of new Persian year (Norows) did not
result to the strike. Then the strike quickly spread to the
whole complex covering of thousands of petrochemical workers
at the Amir Kabir Petrochemical Industry, Khuzestan, Razi chemical,
Tondguyan, BoAli and Arvand.
Management of Petrochemical in response to striking workers proclaimed that
estimating of workers’ desire is not in the responsibility of management of
Petrochemical but “Removal of contractors should be carry out with communiqué
of Oil Minister”. But the workers insisted that they will not end their
strike until management agrees to their demands.
Finally, after 11 days, on the 19th April 2011striking workers of the
petrochemical of Mahshahr Complex after hours of negotiations with
management and government representatives (Governor, representative
of Mahshahr, Labor Department officials, etc.) ended their strike.
To perform direct contract, Management of Petrochemical Complex took
3 months respite to measures the administrative implementation stages through
the Oil Ministry. Also, the management was committed that the benefits that
applied to the permanent employed workers and contract workers were deprived
of it, belongs to them too. In addition, the salary of strike days should be
paid and the workers should not be prosecuted because of the strike.
Before we proceed the results, achievements, weaknesses and limitations of
these protests, it is essential to consider the contexts of the formation
of temporary contracts with the "minimum wage". After the war and during
the eight years of presidency, the commander of development “Rafsanjani”
proclaimed that Iran is going to be a modern, industrialized country,
very similar to Japan in terms of development and economics progress,
an “Islamic Japan”. With the “workforce adjustment” policy of the
commander of development, that its real translation was dismissals,
redemption and widespread unemployed, a large part of the working
class in order to survive were forced to accept temporary contracts.
From this time onwards, temporary contracts became prevalence from
small workshops to large factories and large industries. Contracting
companies in all industries and economic institutions, popped up one
after another like mushrooms. Nader QazyPoor executive board member of
the labor fraction of the parliament and representatives of
parliamentary of Urmia stated that: "
Over 80 percent of workers are with temporary contracts
"[Our translation]. This resulted,
to a large tissue lesion to the working class and on the other
side, expresses the paradox of periphery bourgeois. Bourgeoisie
needs work force to gain surplus value and accumulation of
capital and on the other side scramble to convert parts of
the working class to the poor non-proletarian population.
Nightmare of layoffs, threatened with unemployment, lack of job security,
hard work, low salaries, lack of insurance, lack of benefits and so are
the consequences of temporary contracts. On the other hand, capitalism is
in crisis, the crisis deepens and has spread throughout the world. Waves
of the crisis is hitting from Iran to Greece, from Egypt to Spain.
Bourgeoisie use this crisis as an excuse to attack the living
standards of working class daily, worldwide. In Iran attack to
the living standards of the working class has been ideological
by the supreme leader and he declared the New Year, a year of
"economic jihad" and urged people that "working as jihad". The
real translation of this "economic jihad" is the austerity for
the working class and grab to the empty table of workers.
It was in order to realize and actualize the "economic jihad"
that "Excellent Council of Work"
set the minimum wage to the workers.
According to Article 41 of the Labor Law of bourgeoisie,
"Excellent Council of Work" that has been formed according
to the convention of the International Labour Organization
and consisting of representatives of employers, government
representatives and representatives of the "workers"
(Islamic Councils - the appendage to the Ministry of
Intelligence and National Security in the workplace)
that is a three unilateralism and after negotiations
based on inflation determinate the minimum wage of the
workers. Finally the "Excellent Council of Work" increased
the minimum wage for a month with 9 present in compared to
the last year for the New Year to the 330,300 Tomans,
compared to double-digit inflation and With the eliminating
of subsidies are below the poverty level. Other consequences
elimination of subsidies
will be rising of unemployment
because small industries will go bankrupt because of high energy
costs. In such hell circumstances, "Mohammad Yar Ahmdyan" member
of the "Excellent Council of Work" has stated that: "With
according to 9 percent increase of minimum wages and with regard
to labour voucher, the increase of wage is over than inflation."
[Our translation] Mr. Ahmadian ruminants Goebbels lies,
providing basic necessities has become a nightmare for the
working class and lower strata of society. After all this law of
capital (labour law) does not include workshops under 10 persons.
In other words, there is any minimum wages for workers that are
working in workshops under 10 persons.
All of this indicates that the working class is not struggling
for a better life but also they attempts for their physical
survival. Workers are defending of the most basic level of
livelihoods. Demanding unpaid salaries and official contract.
The left of capital also is busy with its role as safety valve
and trying to restrict the anger and potential of workers.
Demanding higher wages to match inflation and the right to
organize has been entered. The left of capital also demanded
the expulsion of the Iranian delegation of the International
Labour Organization (ILO) and therefore was arranged protests
against meetings of the ILO.
But contrary to the demand of the left of capital, this
institution of the bourgeoisie and the nest of thieves
(International Labour Organization) in its 100th general
assembly session with the highest vote chose Iran as a
board member of the ILO and in practice showed that
bourgeois democracy and bourgeois dictatorship are
two sides of the same coin, barbarity of capitalism
and organizing of exploitation of the working class.
Under such conditions, protests and strikes of petrochemical
industries show that the working class as a social force has
not been defeated. Despite all the restrictions that these
battles have had, especially petrochemicals strike of Mahshahr
has had a tremendous achievement. Strikers did insignificant the
cunning of political police at work (security officials) that
tried to split the strikers and then with the trick that they
will follow the demands of strikers, tried to be act. The
spreading role of the strike to other industries, such as
Amir Kabir Petrochemical Company, Khuzestan, chemical secrets,
Tondguyan, BoAli and Arvand is very important.
The reaction of Bourgeois against the recent protests and
strikes are also noteworthy, the bourgeoisie did
not try to create another Khatoon Abad. In Khatoon Abad on
24 January 2004 the bourgeoisie draw to blood the protest of
workers. Workers were protesting against their unemployed
and demanding return to work. In contrast, the bourgeoisie
tried to act with caution and not tense atmosphere. So first
tried to get split between striking workers and then took
up the isolation policy and pretend that will not get
seriously the strikers, but with spreading of the strike
tired to use bore tactics and referred to legal process.
Finally was eventually forced to give part of the
demands of striking workers.
The bourgeoisie can inaugurate bloodbath in the streets or
in their black holes, which has done so many times and still
survive, but know that the strike of workers, especially in key
industries brings to the shaking the backbone of capitalism. The
bourgeoisie has these experiences of 1979 in its historical memory.
In this contexts the protests and strike of petrochemical industries
that are key industries, has a special place.
Another important characteristic of strikes of petrochemical
industries were rely on the class power of the working classes.
Striking workers did not resorting to the institutions and
organizations of the bourgeois to fulfil their demands, but
they cut off the process of the accumulation of capital and
surplus value. Certainly these strikes despite their limitations,
will strengthen the confidence of the working class and will
strengthen hope to win the upcoming battles.
Strengthen of independent of the ranks of the proletariat; rely
on the class power of the working class and lessons and rubbing
of democratic illusions, are lessons that should be take from
these battles and intensifying of the class struggle is the
perspective that facing the working. Because it is the ghost
of class struggle that the bourgeoisie fear most of all, because
the terrain of class struggle leading to the revolutionary
destruction of the capitalist state in all countries. We don’t
have anything to lose but our chains and a world to win!
30 June 2011
Aftab News, 21 September 2010
Eco News, 14 Mars 2011