Communiqué of the Communist Party of Iran on May First International Workers’ Day (2012)
The current crisis of the global capitalism has brought unprecedented unemployment and poverty for the working class. In many developed and developing countries, the attacks by the states on workers’ lives in order to control the crisis have been confronted by a wave of labor and mass struggles and protests on the streets. During this period, many labor leaders and activists have through exprience come to this conclusion that there is no capitalistic solution to the existing crisis. On the other hand, the reactions of the capitalist states to the crisis have caused spreading poverty and devastation for the society.
This situation and the growing working class struggles against the austerity policies and the devastating consequences of the crisis have created the tangible backgrounds for the radicalization of these class movements and for taking them beyond the limits of the reformistic policies by the labour unions. The anticapitalist ”Occupy Wall Street” movement took shape in the context of this current crisis, a movement which, despite all the shortcomings it might have, could bring millions of angry protesters on the streets against the capitalist system, its deep-seated systemic crisis and the dark future it holds for the society.
The 99 percent movement in America few months ago declared this year’s May First as a day of ’Global Strike’ and called upon all the 99 percent of the world to leave their jobs on this day, take their demands to the streets and show their solidarity with the whole humanity. The intiators of the call hope that this action would create an opportunity for the ”Occupy Wall Street” and 99% movement to spread into the industrial and production centers and working places.
The working class in Tunisia and Egypt, who were the forerunners of the North African and Mideast revolutions, through their continuing struggles and strikes in support of their urgent demands, showed that the replacemement of old dictators with ractionary Islamic groups and pro-west bourgeois nationalists can not be the accepted as the outcome of these revolutionary upheavals and that the struggles and the revolution must be continued.
In Iran the subsidy cuts, which were executed from last year and which were enforced based on the neoliberal policies and instructions of the IMF in order to help Iran’s economy and help Iran become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) not only didn’t help Iran’s sick economic situation nor paved the way for its memebership in the WTO, but rather it worsened the economic situation further more. After one year of enforcing the subsidy cuts now and as a result of ending the price controls by the government, thousands of large and small production centers have been closed down. Also the large-scale economic embargoes on Iran not only accelerated the bankruptcy and close-down of many factories and production centers and as a result the large and daily layoffs, but also the high inflation rate and the skyrocketing food prices have caused more devastation and poverty for the workers.
The leader of the Islamic Republic called 1391 (Iranian current year) the year of ’National Production and Supporting Iranian Labor and Capital’ which means more exploitation of the working class. The government also approved this year’s national minimum wage to be 390 thousand Tomans which is in fact three to five times lower than the poverty level and this means pushing many more working families under the line of poverty and towards starvation.
The Iranian working class is receiving the blow from all sides. The unleashed attack by the contractor companies and the spread of fixed-term contracts, working without employment contracts, lack of effective social insurances, lack of standard health and safety insurances at work, discrimination against the female and immigrant workers, lack of the freedom of speech, lack of rights to strike and self-organization, systematic crack-down on labor protests and strikes and on independent labor unions and organizations, the daily arrest and harassment of labor activists in addition to many other violations have put the Iranian workers under unbearable pressure.
In order to put an end to this difficult economic situation and all other political and social deprivations that has made life hell for the working class, the workers have no other way but to lead a united and nation-wide struggle. The experiences of labor struggles during the past years have shown us that the workers will not be able to defeat the Iranian capitalist regime through scattered and disjoined protests, struggles and strikes. It is only through coordinated and general labor strikes that workers can force the capitalist class and their state to retreat and at the same time impose their urgent demands on them.
The labor activists and forerunners are well aware of the historical and important role of the working class in the coming upheavals and developments, thus they need to go among the workers and support and contribute to their current and daily struggles for achieving their demands. The current labor struggles require aware and objective involvement of the communists in the labor movement and this involement will help the workers’ struggles not to deviate from its right course and serve the long term objectives of the working class. The ongoing attempts and activities by the Iranian workers for forming their own class and mass organizations should be accompanied with the aim of uniting all workers around the country and connecting their scattered struggles together.
Now that we are only few days away from May First, the workers’ international solodarity day, the communist activists among the labor movement need to have a clear sight of the different phases in the advancement of the working class. The May First rallies and activities are an opportunity for disseminating the seeds of class awareness among the workers and poeple’s masses. These activists need to have a clear and precise evaluation of the current situation and the power balance, try to help hold May First rallies and assemblies and at the same time spread awareness about socialism among the workers. May First as a part of the working class struggles is a chance for the workers to become more aware of their historical role in emancipating themselves and world from the exploiting capitalsit system. The communist workers should try to show to the working masses the necessity of organizing in their own class unions and political communist party in order to prepare for the workers’ revolution, seize the political power and run the society by themselves.
During the May First celebrations and gatherings, the labor activists as well as the activists of the Communist Party of Iran need to remember that before anything May First belongs to the working class and this is not a party or organizational celebration detached from the working masses. Any activity on this day should stem from the direct and aware involvement by the working masses themselves. The capitalist class has always tried to create schism among the workers based on thier religion, nationality, gender and so on. It is the duty of the communists and aware workers to emphasize their class identity and unite in face of the capitalists. Thus they need to convince the radical and socialist workers as well as labour unions and organizations to work together to prepare for the May First activities and show their class union despite any political and opintion differnnces they might have.
For the Iranian working class, as it is for the world’s working class, May First is a symbol of class solidarity and awareness, awareness of the workers’ living and working conditions, awareness for struggle and awareness of the way of emancipation from the oppresssions and exploitations of the capitalist system. The Communist Party of Iran marks May First, the day of workers’ class solidarity and congratulates all the workers around the world on this day.
Long Live May First International Workers’ Day
Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran
Long Live Freedom, Equality and Workers’ Government
The Communist Party of Iran