UNISON, Britain’s largest trade union for public sector workers, supports human and democratic rights in Iran

On the occasion of UNISON’s annual National Conference, 18 to 23 June, activists of the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR)  organised a colourful and informative stall complete with a diverse range of CODIR’s publications and posters in support of the Iranian people’s struggles for democracy, human rights and trade union rights and freedoms.  The stall launched a special leaflet addressed to the delegates in attendance at this annual conference held in Brighton on the south coast of England. Over the course of six days, CODIR activists, led by Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary, informed many of the 2,600 delegates on the living conditions and struggle of Iranian workers and trade unionists, and called on them to support the global movement of solidarity with the working people of Iran.

On Monday 19 June, at the grand international rally at the opening ceremony of the conference – in which international guests from the Cuba, Bangladesh, Palestine and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) participated – four colourful banners focusing on human and democratic rights and freedoms in Iran; calling for the release of Ismail Abdi, General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers Trade Association; the defence of women’s rights; and the defence of trade union rights in Iran, covered a wall of the venue for the conference thus familiarising the 200 guests of the ceremony with the campaign of solidarity with the Iranian people, and in particular, the campaign for the release of Ismail Abdi.  To demonstrate their solidarity with the Iranian trade unionists,  David Prentice, General Secretary of UNISON, along with the international guests of the conference including EPSU’s General Secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan, as well as a number of prominent members of the international department of the union gathered in front of the banners and expressed their profound solidarity with the Iranian militant teacher trade unionist,  Ismail Abdi, and called for the unconditional release of all imprisoned trade unionists from prisons in Iran.

On the closing day of the conference, Roger McKenzie (UNISON Deputy General Secretary) and Nick Crook (Head of the International Department of UNISON) visited CODIR’s stand to express their support and solidarity with the trade unions in Iran.

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