NEW YORK--(United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) contacted the UNITE HERE International Labor Union and its local New York affiliates, and requested that it declare a work stoppage for unionized Warwick Hotel employees during the stay of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian delegation at the Warwick later this month.)--On Thursday,
“independent unions in Iran are banned, workers have few legal rights or protections, and union activists are regularly beaten, arrested, jailed and tortured.”
Iran’s record on workers’ rights is abysmal, as the regime bans independent unions, denies legal rights to workers, and arrests, tortures, and executes union activists. As such, UANI is asking UNITE HERE to declare a complete work stoppage at the Warwick so that New York’s unionized labor forces do not have to play host to Ahmadinejad and his cohorts.
Last week, UANI revealed that Ahmadinejad and his delegation will be staying at the Warwick during the final week of September. UANI’s campaign has been covered by Fox 5 News, the New York Post, and was the subject of a Monday Op-Ed by UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, “Say ‘no’ to A’jad, NY.”
In a letter sent today to John W. Wilhelm, President of UNITE HERE, UANI CEO, Ambassador Wallace, wrote:
As a result of the Warwick’s highly irresponsible decision, members of UNITE HERE International Union and its local New York affiliates (collectively “UNITE HERE”) will be expected to host and provide important services to the leader of a regime that has for years waged a war on workers by banning independent unions, denying legal rights to workers, and arresting, torturing and executing union activists. On August 30th, UANI sent a letter to the Warwick requesting that it reconsider hosting President Ahmadinejad and his cronies.
UANI calls upon UNITE HERE to declare a complete work stoppage at the Warwick should the Warwick choose to host the Iranian delegation and send a message to both the Warwick and Iranian regime that egregious violators of workers’ rights are not welcome by New York’s unionized labor forces.
It is galling that the Warwick expects UNITE HERE to provide hospitality services to the Iranian delegation while trade unionists in Iran are victimized by the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on its own citizens. According to Amnesty International, “independent unions in Iran are banned, workers have few legal rights or protections, and union activists are regularly beaten, arrested, jailed and tortured.” For example, Iranian labor union leader Mansour Ossanlu was imprisoned, beaten and given a 5-year sentence for reconstituting the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (“UWTSBC”). UWTSBC members who protested his arrest were subjected to a fierce crackdown that resulted in 500 arrests, and a further 54 workers have been fired for their membership in the union. Additionally, in 2008, a five-minute trial resulted in a death sentence for union activist Farzad Kamangar. He was executed in secret on May 9, 2010.
By refusing to welcome the Iranian delegation, UNITE HERE will stand with Iran’s persecuted trade unionists, and UANI to send a message to the Iranian regime that its war on workers and hijacking of the ILO and ILC are unacceptable.
to read UANI’s full letter.
Click here to tell the Warwick New York Hotel not to host Ahmadinejad.
Click here to read UANI's Monday New York Post Op-Ed, "Say 'no' to A'jad, NY."
Click here to read UANI’s July 30 letter to the Warwick.
Click here to learn more about UANI’s Hotels Campaigns.