Statement by the Council of Global Unions (CGU), 12 September 2023
The Council of Global Unions (CGU), representing over 200 million workers through the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Global Union Federations (GUFs), and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC), condemns the escalating violations of trade union leaders’ and activists’ human and labour rights and civil liberties by various Iranian authorities.
The CGU expresses deep concern about the intensification of repressive measures targeting teachers, journalists, trade union activists, student activists, and women’s rights defenders, especially in light of the approaching anniversary of the extrajudicial death of Jina Mahsa Amini on 16 September. We denounce this repression and urgently call for its cessation, thereby enabling trade unionists to defend and uphold workers’ rights in Iran, a cornerstone of any democratic society.
We are also concerned about the increasing influence of the Gasht-e-Irshad (“morality police”) and their enforcement of the mandatory habid law to harass women and prevent their access to education.
Notably, affiliates of Education International (EI), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), namely the Coordinating Council of the Iranian Teacher Trade Associations, the Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburban Bus Company (Vahed Union) and the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ), face relentless harassment, arrests, prolonged detentions, and torture in prison. Affiliated organisations, individual leaders and workers in the sectors of different global unions report similar violations, which include:
We call on the Iranian authorities to respect international labour standards, in particular freedom of association, and ensure that principles of human rights, justice, dignity and fairness prevail. The CGU expresses its particular solidarity to women’s rights defenders in their struggle for a democratic and secular society.
We stand united in our commitment to defending the rights of workers, women, educators, journalists, rights’ defenders and activists in Iran and around the world.