June 6th, 2018
Truck drivers across cities of Iran have gone on strike and the Khomeiniist regime authorities have failed to convince the drivers to end it. In addition there have been reports of taxi and bus drivers joining their protest. They wrote “Right is not given, it is taken”. The #IranStrikes has been viral for nearly three weeks now.
Below: Throngs of trucks parked and on strike on the side of the road, in Esfahan
The truckers who originated the strike are demanding a 35 to 50 percent increase for haulage charges, while the regime refuses to increase the charges any more than 20 percent. Truck drivers are also protesting the fact that they are being forced to install tracking devices on their vehicles as well as cover incidental expenses, when “only security forces, intelligence agents, and the National Oil Company benefit from them.”
On May 31st, in response to the demands being made by truckers,Abdol-Hashem Hassan-Nia, deputy minister of Roads and Urban Development said: “We have already boosted haulage fees by 20 percent. We’ve also addressed the truckers subsidy issues. Other issues will require more time for us to look into.” Truckers however, continue to reject the regime’s claims, saying that they will no longer accept “lip service” and the strikes will continue until all demands have been met.
The Ministry of Roads and Urban Development in Iran, estimates that there are currently approximately 370,000 trucks operational in Iran, 120,000of which have been in use for over 35 years.
Iranian labor rights activist Mansour Osanloo, who spent many years in prison in Iran and now resides in the U.S. explains that the strikers’ demands are legitimate and constitutional. “Truckers’ demands, including higher wages, have been accumulated over the past few years, reaching an unbearable point, while their governmental subsidies have also been cut. Furthermore, roads in Iran are not safe, and many road patrols demand high bribes to let trucks pass. In the meantime, most of the haulage and transport companies that are owned and managed directly by members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) or people supported by it charge truck owners with high commissions. The truckers’ strike has struck a chord around the world.”
Truckers in Iran are in three categories. There are those who own their vehicles outright, those who work with regime-owned companies and pay off their trucks over several years, and a minority work for truck owners. Often truck drivers end up working for the regime which is the biggest importer and distributor of strategic commodities, especially petroleum and foodstuff.
Above: People in Tehran write their support for the striking drivers on the walls of the city.
In various cities throughout Iran, such as Esfahan, clashes broke out between local strikers and strikebreakers dispatched by the regime’s forced, from other areas in order to assist the suppression of the protests.
Strike Gains International Support
Among major international organizations now joining in to lend its support and offer their solidarity to the Iranians drivers on strike is the Teamsters, which is one of the most prominent labor unions both in the United States and worldwide.
In a letter sent to Abolfazl Mehrabadi, deputy director of the Khomeiniist regime’s interest in Washington, D.C.,James Hoffa, Teamster General President noted, “Iranian truck drivers in 25 provinces and 160 cities have been on strike over low pay, rising operating costs, increased tolls and other regulatory fees. #Teamsters stand in #solidarity with our Iranian brother & sisters!” Hoffa added: “We urge the government of Iran to listen to the grievances of the striking Iranian truck drivers, address their just demands and recognize their internationally recognized rights to assembly, speech, freedom of association and collective bargaining,” Hoffa wrote. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, currently represents 1.4 million transportation and supply chain workers throughout North American (U.S. and Canada).
Below: Truckers in the area of Shahr’eh Kurd, continue their strike
Below: Cab drivers on strike in the city of Boukan
Below: Cab drivers on strike in Kermanshah
Below: The Southern Iranian port of Bandar-Abbass where the containers being offloaded from ships are piling up, as truck drivers are refusing to pick them up.
Below: Trucks sitting inactive in the parking lot of the Aslooyeh oil refinery
Below: Province of Fars. Striking truck drivers drive in a convoy
Below: In Hamadan, striking truck drivers being blocked by regime guards while drivers who are strikebreakers and picket line busters are called “bastards”, “frauds” and “villains”.