Workers’ Struggles in Iran

Found on Infoshop.org, October 31, 2006

(Their source: International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran IASWI. See also their Homepage.)

  • _The security and armed forces, on Tuesday, Mehr/25/1385 (October 17, 2006) raided the residence of Mr. Sharif Saed Panah, who is a worker at Parris textile company in the city of Sanandaj. Saed Panah, along with other workers of the company, participated in a 10 day sit-in that took place in front of the company and also in front of the Kurdistan Province’s office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in August 2006. Their protest was viciously attacked by the security forces on August 26th. Following the raid to the Saed Panah’s house, security forces confiscated his computer and all of his hand written documents and transferred him to the security section of the intelligence service, and the day after on Mehr/26, he was sent to the Sanandaj judiciary to face possible charges and subsequently was released on 10 million Toman bail (close to US$11,000- Monthly minimum wage is approximately $163/month). Since his released on bail, he has been summoned twice by the Intelligence for interrogation purposes. The company’s management has also begun a retaliation campaign against labour activists in the company, particularly those that helped organizing the protest in August. 
  • Some workers, including Behzad Sohrabi, the representative of workers during the strike, and Khobat Moradi and Farhad Rezaee have lost their jobs since. Putting labour activists in jail, releasing them on heavy bail and persecuting them continually and eventually sacking them from the workplace is becoming a dominant trend in most Iranian industries in order to suppress the struggles of workers. The employers and judiciary system as well as security forces and other levels of government have been working in collaboration with each other in implementation of such anti-worker measures.
  • _According to the ILNA News Agency, the employees of the oil company’s security in the City of Gachsaran, in the Kohgiluyeh and Buyer Ahmad Province, took a peaceful sit in front of the governor’s office, in protest to 6 months of salary delays, and demanded an immediate resolution to their long lasting problems, carelessness and irresponsible behaviors of the oil company’s authorities and its contractor, in response to their legitimate requests. These workers have announced that in order to get their benefits and wages, they have had to protest in front of the governor’s office for the second time in one year, and despite the promises made by the authorities none of their requests has been addressed. These workers have announced that they would continue their sit-in until they receive their legal demands. One worker reported that the oil company has disregarded our benefits and bonuses for the past 6 months, and on the other hand, the contractor of the oil company has not paid the workers’ wages for the month of Shahrivar either. According to this report, salaries and benefits of the 2200 service workers of the oil company in Gachsaran have not been paid to them also for over 6 months.
  • _The workers of the refrigerator factory of the Lorestan Province, in protest to the closure of the factory, called for a picket line in front of the governor’s office and have announced that following the privatization and the sell of the factory in 2004, the new owner, instead of making the production work, has shout down the production, and as the result 300 workers of the factory have lost their jobs. The protesting workers who were about 200 reported that two years unemployment and poverty has taken them and their families under the economic, social, emotional, and psychological distress and pressures and demanded the governor’s officials to intervene immediately to address their problems.
  • _Since three years ago, when the Khoramabad Parsilon factory in the Lorestan Province was privatized, the factory has sacked more than 1000 of its workers, and has decreased the factory’s production level to just 20% of its total production capacity. The workers of this factory have not received their salaries since the month of Shahrivar (Aug-Sept), and more than 650 workers of the factory have received the early retirements, with the severance pay, but they have been waiting for over a year to receive their yearly benefits.
  • _The employers of several companies in Saveh (a city in the Markazi Province of Iran) ask for a 100 million Rial promissory note in order to sign a temporary job contract with workers. These measures have been adopted by the employers in the City of Saveh in order to intimidate workers and discouraging them about making complaints because of fear of loosing their jobs or deposited monies. It is necessary to mention that these kinds of unfair practices by employers are mushrooming in the country despite the fact that even the existing labour law does not allow that.
  • _ The CEO of the Sandough Kaveh Company, located east of Tehran, has refused to renew the job contracts of 16 employees of the company. These workers have worked for this company ranging from1 to 6 years. The management, following the workers’ protest and complaints recently, had promised to solve their work related problems and extend the workers’ job contracts from one month to three months. However, the management of the company not only did not materialize their promises but gradually created a condition to fire some workers.
  • _81 workers of the Shahin Tophigh Company, in the city of Oromieh, have not received their benefits and wages in the last 4 months. The Shahin Tophigh Company is one of subsidiaries of the Saheb Sahar Zaman’s Food Production, which produces Maolsheir Beverage (non-alcoholic beer-the production of alcoholic beverages is forbidden by the government) .These workers, by issuing a very comprehensive petition, announced that with soaring cost of living it is impossible for them to survive with only partial payments of 20,000 to 30,000 Toman a month (official minimum wage is 150,000 Toman which is way below the poverty line) instead of their full wages. The petition has been noted that with the production of 45,000 bottles of Maolsheir a day, workers would not allow the company to sell its products until they would receive their delayed salaries. In this letter, the workers also, concerning termination of 30 workers of the company, warned that there might soon be a mass firing of all the workers whose contracts are going to be exhausted by the end of next month.
  • _The workers of the Sazmayeh Brick Company, in the city of Pakdasht, have waged a protest against the companyss management, who has not paid the wages of 200 hundreds workers of the company for 30 months. This company has two employers that have conflicts with each other, and both are currently imprisoned.

The International Alliance in Support of Workers’ in Iran (IASWI) was formed in January 2000, with labour endorsements, to launch and organize collaborative international solidarity campaigns in support of workers’ rights and struggles in Iran.

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