Widespread protests against “rising prices, poverty, unemployment, discrimination and inequality” are the outcome of “mismanagement by state officials and the three branches of the government”, Iran's Teachers Trade Unions’ Coordination Council, TTUCC has announced.
Iranians poured into the streets in recent days to protest “poor economic conditions, systematic discrimination and corruption, as well as poverty and social inequality”, the union says.
In its official statement published on social media app Telegram, TTUCC has also noted, “Untenable management at different levels, improper and illogical planning, as well as widespread abuse of official positions and national structures” are the reasons behind people’s recent uprising.
There is no just and fundamental inspections on management, the Council has lamented, adding, “Most of the managerial positions are monopolized by particular persons that have led to people’s deep dissatisfaction”.
Referring to recent comments by state officials on the necessity of holding peaceful demonstrations, the Council says, “We have repeatedly requested license for holding rallies to air our demands, without any success”. Even union statements on the dire situation of the working class have always fallen on deaf ears, TTUCC has complained.
Condemning “double standards”, the Council has demanded, “Why teachers’ protests were met by suspensions, arrests or sacking?”
Earlier, in a similar statement, Iran’s Independent Trade Unions had said on January 5, “For years, we said our wages did not allow us to make ends meet, but our voice was never heard. Even our meager wages, one fifth of what is branded as the poverty line, were not fully paid for months”.
Accusing the Islamic Republic’s current and past administrations of nepotism and discrimination, the statement says, “Bank loans allocated for so-called job creation were used by certain people for non-productive businesses and profiteering. Wrong policies skyrocketed unemployment. Poverty has intensified. Homelessness, child labor has turned into a way of life and scavenging has grown as a means of survival”.
Moreover, according to the statement, “Legitimate protests by workers and teachers were met by dismissals, lashings and prison”.
None of the independent unions are officially recognized as “legal” in the Islamic Republic, while many activists affiliated with them, including the the treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, Reza Shahabi, have been sentenced to prison terms.