Iran

Teamsters Union Supports Striking Iranian Truckers

The Teamsters, one of the largest labor unions in the United States and the world, expressed solidarity with Iranian truckers, currently striking against the government.

In a letter faxed on Wednesday to Abolfazl Mehrabadi, the deputy director of the Iranian interests section, located in the Pakistani Embassy, the General President of the union, James Hoffa, wrote, “Iranian truck drivers in 25 provinces and 160 cities have been on strike over low pay, rising operating costs, increased tolls and other regulatory fees. #Teamsters stand in #solidarity with our Iranian brother & sisters!”

Hoffa declared that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.4 million transportation and supply chain workers in both the U.S. and Canada, “stands in solidarity with our Iranian brothers and sisters.”

“We urge the government of Iran to listen to the grievances of the striking Iranian truck drivers, address their just demands and recognize their internationally recognized rights to assembly, speech, freedom of association and collective bargaining,” Hoffa concluded.

The Teamsters also tweeted out a message of support, garnering praise from a number of Iranians for support of the strike.

VOA News reported Wednesday that Iranian media has not reported on the strike, now in its tenth day.

The truckers have mobilized using social media to bring attention to rising costs of doing business and demanding higher wages. Drivers who have spoken to VOA Persian said that the government has threatened the striking drivers with the loss of their licenses in text messages.

According to a state-run media outlet last week, the Iranian government had agreed to raise truckers’ wages by 15 percent. It is not clear if the increase has been implemented or not.

Truckers who spoke to VOA Persian said that some of them were running out of money, but they hoped to continue the strike, which began May 22, until the end of the week, before returning to work next week.

[Photo: VOA Farsi / Twitter]