A number of prominent labour activists have been arrested in Iran as May Day approaches.

Davood Razavi and Ebrahim Madadi

Davood Razavi and Ebrahim Madadi

Ebrahim Madadi, the deputy head of the Tehran Bus Drivers Union, Davood Razavi, an executive member of the union, and labour activist Mahmoud Salehi were among the detained workers.

Representatives of the Iranian labour community maintain that the arrests are aimed at controlling possible May Day activities.

Iranian authorities have been witnessing growing unrest in the labour community with widespread teachers’ protests all across the country and other workers consistently staging protests to challenge layoffs and demand better pay and benefits.

Other reports also indicate that labour activists have been arrested in Kurdistan Province.

In the past nine year, labour organizations have not been able to obtain legal permits from the authorities to stage May Day parades. Workers have only been allowed to mark International Workers Day in programs organized by the government.