One hundred and twenty-two years ago, the workers of the world decided to celebrate May 1st as “Working Class Day.” This decision was made in 1889 at the Congress of the Socialists of the World in Paris, France. On May 1st, when nature wakes up from her winter sleep, when the mountain and forest become freshly green, when the meadows and wheat fields sprout, and the sun bestows more warmth, when the exuberance of freshness is felt in the air, when nature becomes once again alive and finds its happiness, the socialist workers in Paris declared loudly on this day that the working class will bring about “The Spring of Humanity,” that the working class will break the chains of the capitalist yoke, and that the working class has the mission to build a new world on the foundations of freedom and socialism.
May 1st, the day of unity and solidarity of labourers, is drawing near at a time when the regime of the Islamic Republic continues its attacks on the rights of workers and toilers, on the growing worker-movement, on the demands for bread and jobs and freedom, and on the job security for the working people. The Islamic regime finds itself weak in the face of the democratic movement of the Iranian people. The capitalist regime of the Islamic Republic, under the cover of the “Plan to Appropriate the Subsidies to Low Income Families,” has started to cut all subsidies to the basic necessities of life. The Plan was
encouraged by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This policy will result in more economic poverty, higher inflation, and a deeper class gap. In the rule of the Islamic republic, the working class has no hope for better living conditions. The Supreme Council of Labour, which is the de facto representative of the government and employers, has set the monthly minimum wage for the workers as 330,300 Touman (equivalent to $300 US dollars). This minimum wage is about 20 percent above the level of the absolute poverty line in Iran. The Council has also approved an annual of 9 percent wage increase,
far less than the rate of inflation. This year, the dinner tables of the workers are emptier than they were last year. Taking into account rapidly rising inflation and the runaway cost
of the basic necessities, the monthly minimum wage for Iranian workers should have been set at 1,500,000 Touman (equivalent to $1,500 US dollars.)
This year, we welcome the arrival of May 1st in a situation that the young workermovement in Iran, inspired by the spring of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, challenges the regime of the Islamic Republic at every turn. It is this spirit of resistance that has caused fear and panic for the Iranian regime and has threatened the future of the Islamic Republic. The revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt, with the banner of bread and
freedom and dignity, have launched major offenses on the unpopular, corrupt, and despotic regimes and are the sources of inspiration in the entire Middle East. Fearful of this inspiration, the dark regime of the Islamic Republic has intensified the repression of the worker-activists and the prominent members of the independent trade unions. Despite this reactionary repression, the struggles of the Iranian workers against privatisation and
collective layoffs, for payment of delayed wages, for higher wages and the right to form independent trade unions, and for the elimination of the government Plan on subsidies have increased. The worker-strikes in factories such as Khodro Machinery, Iran Petro-Chemical Plants, Iran Communication Company and in many other places indicate that the regime’s attempts to silence workers by the use of repression have been in vain.
May 1st is coming up at a time when the imperialists have invaded Libya in order to stop the deepening and spreading revolution of Arab people. The major imperialist powers have
waged a criminal war on Libya under the pretext of “safeguarding” the Libyan people. They have used the reactionary decision of the UN Security Council to colonise Libya and to gain direct control of oil production and the other resources of the country. It is important that on May 1st, the working class of all countries loudly condemn the invasion of Libya and demand an end to and the bombardment and destruction of that tiny country. It is the
internationalist duty of the communists and revolutionaries of all lands to demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Saudi army from Bahrain and the complete withdrawal of the imperialist occupying forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, to defend the Palestinian people in the face of Zionist aggression, and to emphasise the widespread boycott of the terrorist regime of Israel.
We send congratulations to the heroic workers of Iran and of the world on the occasion of May 1st, our “Working Class Day.” The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) is certain that it is only through unity and organisation and the political leadership of the party of the working class and only through a socialist revolution guided by Leninism that the victory of the camp of labour over the camp of capital is possible.
Hail May 1st, the Working Class Day!
Long live the revolution of Arab People against Imperialism and Reaction!
Down with the Regime of the Islamic Republic!
Long live Socialism, the Banner of Human Salvation!
The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan)