As another May Day comes and goes, we at IranPolitik continue to be astounded by not only the worsening economic condition faced by Iranian workers, but also by the continued failure of the so-called opposition, particularly the Reformist and Green Movement political currents, to support and cooperate with the Iranian labour movement. This movement is potentially one of the most powerful of its kind in the Middle East, which according to Sohrab Behdad and Farhad Nomaninumbers over six million workers as of 2006 and many times more if their families are included. Yet no mainstream Iranian political current has even seriously attempted to incorporate the labour movement and its demands. This is not merely a moral failure on the part of the regime and the official opposition. It is also a profound failure in political strategy. As we have argued in the past, the Reformists and Green Movement’s unwillingness to include the labour movement and its demands has likely been a contributing factor to their inability to regain and maintain political power. In this article we give a brief overview of how various political currents in Iran since 1979 have dealt with the labour movement, look at the condition of the movement today in 2013, and consider its future in the Islamic Republic.

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