Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran on the occasion of May Day (2015)
This year we are approaching May Day, the symbol of workers’ international class solidarity under conditions where the global economic crisis of capitalism, despite efforts to control it, is still going on. Increasing shareholder value in the global financial markets and the unprecedented accumulation of wealth in the hands of private companies and financial institutions rather than being a sign of prosperity in production represents a parasitic growth of the economy and the rottenness of capitalism.
According to assessments by international financial institutions, economic growth of the most major world economies has not yet returned to its pre-crisis period. In the United States, the low rates of economic growth, the continuing wave of unemployment and the falling wages prove the opposite of what Obama administration says about the US economy having recovered from the crisis. In Europe, with insignificant growth of German economy, low rates of economic growth in the countries of Southern Europe and the growing unemployment rate, we cannot yet talk about the end of the crisis. In Russia, under the pressure of the sanctions and falling oil prices, the country's economy has become more fragile. In Asia, the Japanese economy is facing recession and the accelerating growth of Chinese economy has subsided. The crisis continues and along with it unemployment rate, low living standards and economic austerity are continuing too. Bourgeois governments not only cannot afford any new reforms but cannot even pay for old reforms that have been imposed on them. They have enough money to pour into the banks and finance militarist policies, but do not have money for schools, hospitals and pensions.
The continuation of the crisis has also intensified the rivalry of the big capitalist powers over expansion of their areas of influence in the world. The world is experiencing a period of instability and insecurity due to the imperialistic ambitions of these powers, their trying to scramble out of the crisis and to strengthen their own position against rival blocs.
However, along with the continuing economic crisis and the development of the objective contradictions in the capitalist system and with a dark outlook for any economic growth, we have been also witnessing an increase in mass anger and discontent as well as spreading labor and mass demonstrations around the world. Workers will not easily lose what they have achieved in the past if they do not fight, but with their fights, they will prepare better conditions for the development of class struggle. It is in the context of this social mobilization that the objective grounds for the advancement of the socialist movement, as the only alternative to challenge the barbarism of the capitalist system will take shape.
In Iran the working class is going to celebrate May Day under conditions where the Islamic Republic, after the Lausanne nuclear deal and drinking from the poisoned chalice, is preparing itself for a new round of confrontation with the Iranian workers and people’s masses. The first element of this confrontation shows itself in the intensified repression and the exercise of greater control over the political sphere in the society. The rising wave of executions, the arrests of more labor and civil rights activists, the closure of newspapers, the choking censorship and the growing number of attacks by pressure groups against women and the youth are all part of regime’s program to prevent eruption of mass anger in the Iranian society. Executing sixty prisoners, mostly accused of drug cases, in less than a month is without doubt for political purposes. In order to intimidate society as well as to cover up its weakness and defeat to the Western powers, the Islamic regime is swinging the death sickle over the prisoners.
The second element of this confrontation by the Islamic regime is its continuing attacks on workers’ lives, rights and living standards. Although Rouhani’s government had promised to improve workers’ living standards by normalizing relations with the US and the West, but even after reaching a final agreement over its nuclear crisis and even after an end of the economic sanctions there will be no improvement in workers’ lives. If during the nuclear crisis and the confrontation with the West, the working class carried the heavy burden of the sanctions, right now and also after the agreement, the Islamic regime will continue its attacks on workers’ lives and rights using pretexts such as tackling the losses and harms of the sanctions.
The economic plan of Rouhani’s government is to use the cheap labor force of the Iranian working class to produce goods and products at much cheaper price than in the global market and offer these on the international markets and this way ensure the profitability of the domestic capital. The planners behind this policy believe that with this orientation not only large amounts of cash will flow into the production section, but will also encourage foreign investors to come and invest in Iran. Thus it is clear from now that the regime wants to revive the economy by continuing to impose on the working class wages that are more than three times lower than the poverty line.
Reaching a final agreement over the nuclear crisis may reduce the psychological effects of the sanctions on the people and at the same time disarm regime by leaving it with no excuses regarding its negligence of Iranian people’s demands and desires as it has been so far justifying people’s miseries and deprivations with the sanctions and its tensions with the West; however, the final agreement will not create any real improvement in workers’ lives. What could change is that the lift of the sanctions and the normalization of relations with the West will raise people’s and workers’ expectations and activists and leaders in the labor movement will obtain a new opportunity to raise and expand their demands.
The scattered and daily labor protests and demonstrations, especially by the workers in the automobile and petrochemical centers, protests by the retired workers of Esfahan Steel Company and by the nurses as well as teachers’ strikes during recent months all show the massive potential in the society against regime’s policies. Although these labor strikes and protests carry signs of some degree of self-organization and the role of class-conscious workers and labor leaders, but these struggles have not been able to provide workers with enough leverage to impose their immediate demands on their employers and the state. In order to overcome this weakness in this period and while the working class is suffering in the absence of its independent class organizations, it is so vital and urgent for labor activists and leaders in different production centers and lines to connect, communicate and work together.
Now that we are approaching May Day, the international working class solidarity day and the top priorities of labor activists and leaders is to organize labor gatherings and activities on this day, the communist activists of the labor movement should expand their efforts to promote workers’ demands, link these demands and its movement nation-wide and establish workers’ class and mass organizations. Iranian workers on this day will once again reject the minimum wages set by regime’s Supreme Labor Council and demand a wage increase that can afford them a human life. At the same time they will insist on their demands for immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned trade unionists, for adequate unemployment insurance, the dismantle of contractor companies, workplace safety and workers' compensation, prohibition of child labor, the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association, organization and the right to strike, release of all political prisoners, the abolishment of death penalty, separation of religion and state and an end to discrimination against women and ensuring gender equality on all areas of economic, social and political life. Workers should also boycott all the sham gatherings and activities that are held on this day by the state and it institutions such as Khane Kargar (Workers’ House), Islamic associations and councils or The Supreme Center of Iranian Labor.
The May Day preparations at the same time are an opportunity to promote socialist consciousness among workers. Just as any other part of the working class struggles, this day provides an opportunity for communist activists to promote workers’ awareness about their emancipation and the role and responsibilities of the working class towards world’s matters. Putting an end to the rule of the Islamic Republic and ending poverty and the misery imposed on the Iranian working masses is only possible through workers’ self-organization and only if the leaders of the working class organize themselves in a political communist party with the aim of bringing down the regime of the Islamic Republic through workers’ revolution.
The Communist Party of Iran congratulates all the workers on the occasion of May Day, the symbol of class and international solidarity.
Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran!
Long Live Freedom, Equality and Workers’ State!
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran