torsdag 1 april 2010

Bloggtips: Intervju med Saeed Rahnema

Foto: Yo

Tehran Bureau
publicerade igår en utmärkt intervju med Saeed Rahnema, facklig aktivist under den iranska revolutionen 1979 och idag professor vid York University i Torono.

Han resonerar kring de arbetarråd (Showra) som etablerades på viktiga arbetsplatser strax efter revolutionen 1979 och vikten av en stark arbetarrörelse inom dagens oppositionen mot den sittande regimen,
Ian Morrison: Since the recent election crisis there has been some talk among opposition circles about the role organized labor could play in a struggle for democracy in Iran, often in reference to the 1978 oil strike. You took part in the labor council movement during the collapse of Shah and are a sharp critic of that movement today. What could a contemporary democracy movement learn from that historical experience?

Saeed Rahnema: For the first part of your question I can say, as I have argued elsewhere, that there are lots of street protests and confrontations at this stage, but, as important as they are, none of these can really threaten the existence of the Islamic regime. The regime will be in serious trouble when workers and employees in the major industries and in social and government institutions start a strike as they did in the time of the Shah. Strikes are the most important aspect in my view. The regime will not change with street demonstrations alone.

As for the council movement, in the period leading to the revolution a new type of organization was created, which did not exist in earlier short-lived periods of the labor movement in Iran, called Workers and Employees Showras or councils. The major economic crisis in the late 1970s, along with the gradual erosion of the Shah's power, led to labor activism in most of the large factories. Workers began to demand a set of reforms, increased job security, improved job classifications, as well as wage demands. These led to the creation of strike committees in a growing number of factories. As the political crisis deepened, many owners in the private sector abandoned their factories and left the country; managers in the state-owned industries could not function either, leaving the large industries of Iran without leadership, and forcing the strike committees to take over the factories. Soon, under the influence of the left-leaning activists present in most of these committees, they took the name of council or showras. After the revolution, all major factories established their own showras.

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I medierna: Tehran Bureau

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