Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iran Cracks Down on May Day Rallies Demanding Respect for Workers


Hundreds of Iranian supporters of Iran's national trade union rally outside its Workers' House building in Tehran, May 1, 2018.

Iranian workers have held several unauthorized protests in the country to mark May Day, prompting security forces to break up the gatherings and arrest some of the participants.

The state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA) said police dispersed a rally by teachers and other workers outside Tehran's parliament Tuesday, arresting at least six people. It said the protesters were demanding government action to address labor problems. The news agency quoted an intelligence source as saying authorities detained "only people who intended to create turmoil."

Elsewhere, an Iranian pro-labor union group reported a security crackdown on a May Day gathering in the Iranian Kurdish city of Saqqez. The overseas-based Iran Kargar website said plainclothes security forces broke up the event and detained several labor activists, taking them to an unknown location.

But there were no reported arrests at a May Day rally of hundreds of Iranians in another part of Tehran on Tuesday. Supporters of Iran's national trade union rallied outside the group's headquarters, known as Workers' House at the corner of Ravenmehr and Aboureyhan streets, holding banners and chanting slogans, such as "down with tyranny, long live laborers."

WATCH: Protesters Flock to May Day Rally

Protesters Flock to May Day Rally in Iran
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:00:12 0:00
Direct link

ILNA, which is run by the union, said the workers had wanted to demonstrate outside the health ministry to protest alleged wrongdoings by Health Minister Seyyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi. But it said the protesters remained outside the Workers' House because they lacked a permit to move elsewhere.

Supporters of Iran's national trade union hold banners saying, "Workers have empty tables," right, and "Laborers in western Tehran have no place to gather," center, at a May Day rally at Tehran's Workers' House, May 1, 2018.
Supporters of Iran's national trade union hold banners saying, "Workers have empty tables," right, and "Laborers in western Tehran have no place to gather," center, at a May Day rally at Tehran's Workers' House, May 1, 2018.

ILNA quoted a Workers' House leader, Hassan Sadeghi, as saying Iranian laborers want a "decent living and job security." Sadeghi also said that if Iran's Islamist leadership wants to remain in power, it must satisfy the workers' demands.

Iran has seen a wave of small-scale protests around the country this year by workers protesting nonpayment of wages, low salaries, job losses and water shortages.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Persian Service.

Recommended

XS
SM
MD
LG