The workers of Haft Tappeh sugar cane factory have issued the statement below calling for free access to coronavirus vaccinations. The workers of this factory are known for their continuous struggles. In 2015, through the implementation of a series of neoliberal policies, the factory was transferred from state ownership to private capital, which led to worsening of the workers’ conditions. Since 2017, the Haft Tappeh workers have repeatedly been on strike for demanding their unpaid salaries, job security, getting rid of the private owners, and the release of their imprisoned colleagues, arrested in previous strikes. The following statement targets both the Iranian state and the private owners:
Coronavirus vaccination: Immediate – Free – Universal
Capitalists and governments are responsible for the destruction of nature and society. The workers, however, pay the price for any irresponsible and profit-seeking policy. Sitting in their palaces, the capitalists have access to the greatest medical facilities, but the workers have to look after them. Capitalists can bring to their home the hospital, medical facilities and a healthcare team, but the workers have to shield them and endure the most casualties. Preventing the vaccination of citizens is an attempt to kill the dispossessed in the coronavirus minefield.
The government has no right to chant slogans and then shrug and make us pay with our lives. The government and the elite that holds power and controls everything is directly responsible for the current situation. The government has no right to sentence the citizens of a country to mass death. No government has the right to deprive the inhabitants of a land of their right to life and a livelihood. No power has the right to put its personal beliefs ahead of the interests of the people of a country.
Enough is enough. In these difficult times, when rulers are hiding in their crystal rooms and palaces, workers have fought on the front lines of factories and hospitals. The policy of the government and capitalists was to increase unemployment and impose poverty and hunger. So far, our share has been more repression and deaths.
The workers of Haft Tappeh, along with the working class, demand the immediate supply of a vaccine that is approved by world-renowned health centres, free of charge for all residents of the country, with priority given to vulnerable sections of society.
A group of Haft Tappeh workers in different sections
19 January 2021