Mullahs' Intelligence Ministry plans to arrest striking workers at Melli Shoe factories

The clerical regime's Intelligence Ministry intends to arrest a large group of workers at Melli Shoe Industrial Group, including those suspected of organizing and instigating a two-week long strike. The action is aimed to crush this strike which involves 10,000 workers and send the workers back to work.

The Intelligence Ministry is weary of the political nature of the strike and fears that with the approach of the Iranian new year (March 1998), the strike would spread to other factories across the country and create another crisis.

The Intelligence Department in the Security Forces of Karaj therefore made an investigation for several days and identified 32 persons as the main instigators of the strike. Subsequently, the Governor's Council for Security met on January 26 and ordered Sabouri, commander of the security forces' counter-intelligence directorate stationed at the factories, and Qara'ati, from the Intelligence Department of Karaj, to try to arrest these workers without causing much tension. Afterwards, officials will press the workers to go back to work.

Presently, the workers refrain from negotiating with officials. Workers have ridiculed factory officials and Majlis deputies who have so far tried to speak to, or negotiate with, them. Melli Shoe workers accept only the payment of their salaries as the appropriate response to their demands.

Abbas Davari, Chairman of the NCR's Committee of Labor, drew the attention of international human rights and labor organizations to the violations of the most basic rights of Iranian workers. He urged them to intervene to save the lives of the arrested workers and prevent the arrest of the rest of the striking workers.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 29, 1998

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