31 Women Drivers Forced out of United Bus Company of Tehran

Posted on: 14th October, 2011
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HRANA News Agency – Farahnaz Shiri together with 30 other women bus drivers have been forced out of the United Bus Company of Tehran (UBCT) while none of them knows the reason for the mandatory buyback of their employment service.Farahnaz Shiri was the first driver of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) in Tehran serving the route between Azadi Square to East Depot.She is also the recipient of Appreciation Award for Transportation Day in Iran.

In an interview with Shargh News, Farahnaz Shiri said, “When Mr. Bijani was the director of UBCT, I joined the company with his support and encouragement in September 11, 2007. I continued to work at UBCT until March 11, 2010.By then, my contract had ended for six months, but no one paid any attention to my requests to renew it.”

Farahnaz Shiri added, “Finally, UBCT decided to offer me a new contract although according to Labor Laws, the old contract had to be renewed.Five other women bus drivers had become permanent employees before me, but I was left in a state of limbo.Although I followed up vigorously and wrote lots of letters, UBCT refused to offer me permanent employment.This situation continued until April 30th when I was fired.”

Following her dismissal, Farahnaz Shiri took legal actions and returned to work when a judge ordered her reinstatement.Nevertheless, one day in June 2011, when Farahnaz Shiri together with 30 other women bus drivers serving the route between Azadi Square to East Depot went to work, there were no buses for them to drive, and their health insurance payments had lapsed.

Needing medical care for her illness, Farahnaz Shiri told Shargh News, “I don’t have proof of insurance and can’t afford paying the medical bills myself.One day when I went to pick up my bus, my schedule was blocked.Thirty other women also lost their jobs at the same time.The majority of these women are breadwinners and must provide for their families.Before our contracts expired, UBCT forced a mandatory buyback on us.”

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