Reported by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Dec. 16, 2018 - On Sunday, the streets of Ahvaz once again witnessed demonstrations by the workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group, who have been striking and protesting in the past 37 days for their unpaid wages and to reclaim their most basic rights.
Security forces had been dispatched to intimidate the protesters and to discourage other citizens of Ahvaz to join them in their demonstrations. The workers were nonetheless adamant in their resolve to protest for their rights.
Many of the workers of INSIG, which is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of steel products in Iran, have not received their salaries for several months. The workers are also suffering from the result of corrupt policies and mismanagement of the steel factory by its private owners.
The workers, who have not received any response to their demands, hold the Iranian regime responsible for the current situation. In their demonstrations, the workers were chanting, “They have turned Islam into a ladder and destroyed the lives of the people,” a reference to the regime’s abuse of its religious authority to plunder the wealth of the country and the Iranian people.
The workers were also chanting, “Khuzestan has no decent authority,” a criticism of local authorities and their role in exacerbating the current crisis that the workers are facing. In their protests, the workers have been describing factory and government authorities as criminal gangs.
Yesterday, the steelworkers of Ahvaz held the 36th day of their protests in front of the Khuzestan province governor’s office and marched across the city, stopping in front of government buildings and state-funded institutions to chant slogans against regime authorities.
Ahvaz steel company is just one of the many factories where its workers have been deprived of their salaries and rights. That’s why as the different communities across Iran have shown their support for the demands of the Ahvaz workers and many have joined them in their demonstrations.
The Iranian regime is fearing the protests growing, triggering other similar demonstrations and spinning out of control. Iranian authorities have tried to control the protests by deploying security forces and plain-clothes agents to places where demonstrations are taking place. But its efforts have so far been in vain. The people of Iran are living under severe economic duress caused by the ruling regime’s destructive policies, and protests and demonstrations have become their only means to reclaim their rights. Government authorities have failed to fulfill their promises to improve the economic situation.
Yesterday, the workers forced security forces to clear the way for the protesters and prevented them from disrupting the demonstrations.