Following contact of Massoud Arzhang, a member of the Workers Solidarity Network of The Middle East and North Africa and Free Them Now campaign Joey Hatman president of VDLC on behalf of 60000 members of this union, in an open letter to Hassan Rouhani on January 18, expressed her support for the uprising against the government in Iran..
co coordinator of WSNMN, Shahla Daneshfar
To: Hasan Rouhani president of Islamic Republic of Iran
January 18, 2018
Solidarity with Iranian ProtestorsThe Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) is a federation of trade unions representing 60000 workers in our region of Canada.
We have been monitoring the current wave of protests in your country since they first began on December 28 in the city of Mashhad. Since then, Iranians across the country have taken to the streets in response to extreme poverty and unemployment, and to inequity.
We recognize that Iran continues to suffer from international sanctions which, since 2012 have cost the economy over $160 billion in lost oil revenues. This has resulted in harsh impacts for the standard of living of most Iranians, exacerbated by your government’s discontinuation of subsidies on energy and bread, that most Iranians relied heavily upon. These extreme levels of poverty, unemployment, and inequity are made even more unacceptable by the realization that the clergy continues to enjoy massive wealth.
Further, your government continues to oppress freedom of speech and imprison political opponents, trade union leaders, and activists.
For these reasons, the VDLC expresses its solidarity with the people of Iran who are calling for your gov
ernment to release political and trade union prisoners, reinstate much-needed subsidies, address the problems of poverty and unemployment, and ensure that the clergy share its wealth with the people of Iran.