The Large Scale Oppression of the Workers of Vahed Bus Company

A strike was called for Saturday January 28, 2006 by the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company. On Thursday January 26, 2006 at 9:30 a.m. a few members of the steering committee of this syndicate: Ali Zadhossain, Ebrahim Maddadi, Said Torabian, Ata Babakhani, Mansour Hayat Ghaybi, and Abdulreza Tarazi, who were called by the public prosecutor, went to the public prosecutor’s office. At 10:50 a.m. they were transferred to the Evin jail and their families have no news of them till now.

On Friday January 27, 2006, the security forces with three cars went to the houses of Ata Babakhani,Yusef Moradi and Ali Zadhossain. Even though there was nobody at Ata Babakhani’s, the security forces broke in to his place. They ransacked the home and even tore the covers off the couches. After an inspection of the houses of these three people, the security of the Vahed Bus Company called up more drivers via the controlers. When the workers arrived to these areas, the security and intelligence service arrested them. During this arrest, in one instance in two regions, 4 entire mini-buses were loaded with arrestee workers and transferred to jail. According to some bus driver workers, up to now more than 500 have been arrested. A large number of the arrestee’s wives such as Davood Razavi’s wife and Mansoor Hayat Ghaybi’s wife, who have been in Yaghoob Salimi's house, along with the latter's wife and childern were arrested and sent to jail. Some other bus drivers while distributing pamphlets for the strike were also arrested.

Following these arrests, some workers spontaneously published and distributed pamphlets about the wave of arrests and assaults on the workers when their workplaces were invaded in district #2, with the intention of intimidation. The government forces and security of the Bus Company from Friday afternoon - even in some cases on Thursday – brought in the buses with their own bus drivers from the military and paramilitary forces wearing plain clothes. Also, the security forces were driving the empty buses around the city in order to destroy the workers’ spirits.

In this way, all forces of capital and its preservers including police, security forces, judiciary power, intelligence services, military and paramilitary forces and etc. were united to oppress in large scale the Bus Company’s workers in order to prevent the strike.

We condemn this oppression and call on all workers and honourable and freedom-loving people to struggle for the freedom of these arrestees.

Coordinating Committee to Form Workers' Organization