Truckers in Iran are taking mass action over low wages and rising expenses, as well as for workers’ rights and road safety.
Their action has been strongly supported by the ITF’s road transport affiliate the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, also known as the Vahed Syndicate.
The strike first affected the Qazvin, Lorestan, East Azerbaijan and Mazandaran areas and has now been reported to have spread to all provinces and more than 250 cities.
Road transport is vital to Iran’s supply chains, so the action is having a significant impact. At the same time, there are reports that the truckers have received wide public support.
The ITF head of inland transport, Noel Coard, said: “Truckers’ wages are not enough to cover their expenses. Together with the vast majority of ordinary Iranians, they have been suffering the impact of ongoing inflation and price hikes. They can’t make a decent living.
“At the same time, many trucks are in poor condition, needing spare parts and repairs. Alongside poor weather conditions, border area security problems and a general lack of road safety, Iranian truckers endure unacceptable working conditions.
“Workers’ rights, including the right of independent trade unions to represent their members, are key to resolving these issues."
Noel Coard added that the problem of low wages and safety in road transport supply chains has been prioritised by the ITF’s road transport section. In December 2016, the ITF adopted a supply chain accountability initiative, currently being rolled out by the ITF road transport section with truck driver trade unions.