Announcement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran on the occasion of May 1st, International Workers’ Day (2013)
May 1st is a day of international working class solidarity. Iranian workers have had a year full of difficulties and at the same time full of strikes and protests and an era accompanied with constant fight for their rights. During the past year, the deepening crisis of global capitalism and the impact of this crisis on different aspects of the life of the working class on one side and on the other side the expansion of the economic sanctions have resulted in tens of thousands of factory closures, bankruptcy of numerous production centers, increasing number of millions of unemployed people, escalating inflation and soaring prices of basic necessities of the society and brutal living conditions. The Iranian workers on many levels have been struggling with the consequences of these devastating economic sanctions and the devastating policies of the Islamic regime that has been constantly trying to impose the burden of the sanctions on the working-class families and the poor layers of the society.
Iranian workers through their daily protests and strikes have shown that they neither surrender to the fate that the capitalist class and their regime have created for them nor have been intimidated by the continuous repression, arrests and prosecution of labor movement activists and leaders by the Islamic regime. They have shown that the daily violations against their lives and rights will not break their will and this way they have kept alive the hope for system change and end to the rule of the Islamic regime in the hearts of the oppressed and deprived masses in the society.
Iranian workers now celebrate this historic day amid continuous struggles and with wide experience in organizing May 1st ceremonies and actions. May 1st is part of workers’ fight against the capitalist system during which they show and raise the degree of their class consciousness, their awareness about their working and living conditions, their understanding of the importance of class struggle and self-organization for the liberation from oppression and exploitation of the capitalist system. The labor movement leaders and activists need to have a clear knowledge of the factors involved in Iran’s political situation as well as a realistic evaluation of the existing power balance and the dominating atmosphere in the society so that they can organize successful May 1st ceremonies and actions.
The activists and leaders of the labor movement know that this year’s May 1st is going to be held just few weeks before Iran’s eleventh presidential “elections”. This makes this year’s May 1st celebrations special and more sensitive. The regime has been planning special measures ahead and in fear of mass riots in the weeks leading up to the “elections” and recently by announcing the launch of “polling bases”, [ polling centers that are guarded by armed forces], it actually announces that it will enforce tight security measures in the society. The regime is extremely worried about the outburst of people’s anger and discontent against the high inflation and high prices, against poverty, unemployment and wide corruption, and turning this discontent into a mass political movement in the tense atmosphere of the society. Regime’s fear of mass riots, its resort to more repression and force against people and displaying its military and security capabilities in order to overcome this fear clearly shows the fragility of the current atmosphere in the society. Workers’ organized and strong presence in the city centers during May 1st can be the start to end this atmosphere, trigger waves of mass anger and create a more favorable atmosphere for the advance of the labor movement and other progressive social movements.
The fragile atmosphere of the society is rooted in more fundamental factors. The deepening economic crisis, the pressure and problems that the regime is facing as a result of the continuation of the economic sanctions, the impasse in becoming a nuclear power and failure in becoming the super power of the region, its fear of labor and mass uprisings and its frustration in controlling these crises has made the Iranian regime struggle with an internal crisis as well. Different factions within the regime have been attacking each other over the ways out of this crisis and over the survival strategies of the regime. It is the regime’s incapability in resolving these crises that has made all its measures and plans fragile.
The regime of the Islamic Republic, in face of such challenges and by terming 1392 as “The Year of Political and Economic Saga”, by calling on the workers to bear the austerity programs and asking for active participation in the presidential elections is, once again, openly stating its intention to intensify the exploitation of the workers and pushing more families under the poverty line. The increasing pressure on the Iranian labor activists and leaders is an attempt by the regime to prevent any possible wide response from the labor movement against these attacks.
Organizing May 1st gatherings is one of the top priorities of the labor activists and leaders in the labor movement. The communist activists in the labor movement need to have an accurate and correct evaluation of the conditions and power balance in the society and accordingly try to organize and hold May 1st activities. It is the duty of the socialist activists in the labor movement to set a clear vision for the workers of the different phases of the advancement of the labor movement. It is necessary to emphasize the urgent demands of the working class, especially the demand for increased wages and rejecting the minimum wage that is four times less than the poverty level, to emphasize the importance of united and country-wide fight against the regime’s assaults and for the liberation from the terrible economic situation as well as the political and social limitations that have made life for the working class intolerable.