Reported by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Nov. 22, 2018 - The unprivileged workers of the Haft Tapeh sugarcane company in Shush, Khuzestan, gathered for the 18th consecutive day of their strikes on Thursday. The workers began their march toward the mayor’s office to protest against months-long unpaid wages and the arrest of their colleagues.
The workers are also demanding the eviction and removal of inefficient and corrupt private owners who control parts of the company and are responsible for the mismanagement and many corrupt practices.
Workers of Haft Tapeh protest for unpaid wages and unrecognized privileges
The workers of Haft Tapeh began their strike 18 days ago. Since 10 days ago, the strikes have turned into demonstrations and marches in the city proper. The workers have earned the support of other workers, teachers, students, drivers and other communities in Khuzestan and across Iran. Haft Tapeh is the largest sugarcane factory of Iran and employs thousands of workers.
The Iranian regime has not responded to the needs of the workers. Instead, security forces arrested several protesters last week. Under pressure from expanding protests and fearing that the tensions might turn into more direct confrontation between the people and security forces, Iranian authorities released all but four of the detained workers.
Videos obtained from the scene show workers chanting, “Detained workers must be freed!”
THREAD— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) November 22, 2018
November 22 - #IranProtests
Shush, southwest #Iran
Employees of the Haft Tapeh sugar cane mill are holding their 18th consecutive day of a strike, protesting & demanding their delayed paychecks & the release of their jailed colleagues. pic.twitter.com/WKqSIYbqPh
Workers of Haft Tapeh gather in front of Shush mayors office
Yesterday, the syndicate of the workers of Haft Tapeh called on all workers to gather for a demonstration in front of the mayor’s office in Shush.
“Today, the workers of Haft Tapeh know that it is only through unity and empathy that we can achieve our goals,” the statement by the syndicate reads. “We the workers of Haft Tapeh know that the demands of our imprisoned colleagues, especially Mr. [Esmaeil] Bakhshi, is the dismantlement of the private section of the company. Therefore, tomorrow and as many days as is required, with or without Bakhshi, without or without salary, we will continue our protest until the private section is dismantled.”
The protest of Haft Tapeh workers has reached national and international scale. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the workers of Haft Tapeh for their courage and persistence and called on all Iranians and rights activists and organizations across the world to support them in achieving their demands.
Yesterday, in a statement published on it social media channel, the Council of Iranian Students expressed its solidarity with the workers of Haft Tapeh. The council blamed the Iranian regime and its corrupt policies for the bankruptcy of the country’s largest sugar factory and described the protests of Haft Tapeh workers as a big blow to the regime’s destructive policies.
“We students and activists see our destiny tied to that of the hardworking workers of our country, who despite harsh conditions have toiled to keep the country running. We declare our solidarity with the workers of Haft Tapeh and strongly condemn the arrest of protesting workers,” the council’s statement reads.
Students, teachers declare solidarity with Haft Tapeh workers
The protests of Haft Tapeh workers is happening in tandem with similar strikes and protests by the workers of the Ahvaz steel company, also in Khuzestan province, who have been demonstrating for unpaid wages. The two groups have grown a strong bond in the past days and have become supportive of each other’s demands.