Iranian unionists/sugar can workers' lives are on the line - protest

"We have only a few hours to flood the Iranian government with messages of protest from around the world.

Ali Nejati, Feridoun Nikoufard, Mohammed Heydari Mehr, Ghorban Alipour and Jalil Ahmadi are leaders of the trade union of workers at the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Plantation and Industry Company in Shush, an affiliate of the IUF.

The 5,000 workers at Haft Tapeh have had to resort to repeated strike action over the past two years over failure to pay wages and in support of basic workplace rights. They have been ceaselessly harassed and victimized, with suspected militants subject to frequent arrests and public whippings.

On 20 December last year, the five leaders were charged with "acting against national security" as a result of their trade union activity. They face potentially lengthy prison sentences. We've received a report from the IUF that on Sunday, 22 February, there is going to be a court hearing in Iran at which the fate of five jailed trade union leaders may be decided.

Those men have been charged with "acting against national security" and face potentially long prison sentences. Their only crime was to do their job as trade unionists. Please take a moment to send off this automated letter @

And pass this email on to your fellow union members.

Thank you. " A message from LaborStart