Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, October 19, 2020—The Iranian regime has increased the price of flour or reduced the quota of bakeries to pave the way for increasing the price of bread across the country. This has caused difficulties for people in different cities and many of them were seen standing in long lines to buy bread.
“The flour quota for bakers in the city of Neka, north of Iran, is low. This city is in a working-class area,” says one bakery worker.
“Until now, we used to purchase flour from the free market and the price of flour was 900,000 rials (about $3) for each bag. Now in the flour factory the price is 2-3 million rials (about $6 to $9) per bag. I got 80 bags of flours for 130 million rials (about $400). I lose 1 million rials (about $3) per bag,” said one of the bakers in the city of Neka.
Also, in the city of Miandoab, northwest of Iran, people are facing various problems due to shortage of bread.
“We have no bread and no bakery! We do not have flour to bake bread. In the past, our bread was brought from the city of Malekan. Now we have nothing,” one of the bakers said.
Bread has not been found in bakeries of the city of Shahriar, southwest of Tehran, for several days. The bakeries are still open, but they have no flour. In the Mahdasht area of the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, there has been a severe shortage of bread for a week.
“The way things are going, in the next few months, bread will disappear from the people’s tables, as has happened with meat and eggs,” warned Shiva Ghassemipour, an MP from Kurdistan province, during a Majlis (parliament) session on September 23.
“After all these years, we must ask ourselves, was there no solution to this situation?... Our officials do not do anything to help the impoverished people of our society, whose numbers are increasing every day. When did we promise to create havens for the rich, give shelter to the corrupt, and deprive the poor from the ability to buy eggs?” she asked.
“The government prides in having provided all the needs of the people, but at what price? When the people do not have the purchasing power, there is no use… We’ve seen time and again that officials who speak on national television aren’t even aware of the prices of goods, they don’t know that the people are so desperate that they are selling their body organs to make ends meet… Do people’s meager salaries meat the skyrocketing prices?” Ghassemipour continued.
Long line to purchase bread in Iran—File photo
Heart-breaking report from Sari, northern Iran
“Today a patient had no money in Imam Hospital in the city of Sari, northern Iran. Our colleagues raised money for a 45-year-old contract worker to discharge his child from the hospital. We cried… This poor worker was empty handed. We helped him with all we had. The mother of the child came and was willing to do everything out of poverty to pay for medicine! The root of corruption and oppression must be dried up.
How much can we help?! Medicine goes to Iraq and Syria for free, but unfortunately, our people have fallen into poverty and misery!” according to obtained reports from inside the country.
In this regard, the Iraqi army’s intelligence on October 15 reported its units had confiscated 19 trucks smuggling a very large amount of medications from Iran to Iraq. All the while, Iran’s regime complains about international sanctions preventing them from helping people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ongoing labor protests
On Saturday, October 17, workers of the Zamzam factory in the city of Tabriz, northwest Iran, gathered for the second time demanding their delayed paychecks and immediate return to work for their expelled colleagues.
Workers in the city of Meshgin-shahr, northwest Iran, who work on the Ahar-Meshgin-shahr highway project went on strike at their workplace again on Saturday, protesting their delayed paychecks.
Municipal workers in the city of Bojnurd, northeast Iran, once again gathered in front of the Bojnurd municipality with their families protesting lack of job security.
On Saturday, October 17, workers of the Petro Refining Co in the city of Lamerd, southcentral Iran, went on strike, protesting the officials’ refusal to pay their wages.
On Friday in the city of Asaluyeh, southern Iran in Bushehr Province, workers held a rally on behalf of 2,000 of their co-workers protesting low wages, and poor working and living conditions.
The protesting workers are demanding payments of all their delayed paychecks, dismissal of contractors and concluding a direct contract with the Ministry of Oil, improving the condition of dormitories, medical centers and restaurants, establishing acceptable living standards in these areas based on the WHO’s protocols for Covid-19, and their wages equaling official workers in the oil industry.
They emphasized that they will not return to work until all their demands are met.
Workers on strike for the fifth consecutive day in the town of Hamidiyeh in southwest Iran
Municipal workers in the city of Hamidiyeh, southwest Iran, have been on strike for five days protesting their delayed paychecks.
A group of municipal workers held a rally in front of the city courthouse criticizing the local officials’ silence and refusal to follow-up their demands. Security forces arrested a worker named Kazem Sarkhi after city council chairman Abdullah Abyat threatened to fire the workers.
The protesting workers say that they have not been paid for 15 months and did not receive delayed paychecks for the years 2017 and 2018.
Expelled municipality workers in Ahvaz hold a protest rally—October 18, 2020
On Sunday, October 18, a group of expelled municipality workers in the city of Ahwaz, southwest Iran, gathered in front of the municipality building demanding their immediate return to work.
It is worth noting that more than 22 municipal contract workers from District 2 of Ahwaz in Khuzestan province, who work in the green belt project, were fired at the beginning of July after their contracts came to an end. Since then, the workers have been pursuing their demands and returning to work, but their employment status is still in limbo.
Oil industry workers in Ahvaz holding a protest rally—October 17, 2020
Oil industry contract workers in Ahvaz held a rally on Saturday, October 17, protested the official’s hollow promises their specific jobs to undergo classification.
It is worth noting that nine months after an announcement by the regime’s Oil Minister in March promising to implement a job classification plan for 106,000 contract workers in Iran’s oil industry, this group of workers is still waiting for this promise to be fulfilled.
In addition, supplementary insurance was supposed to be implemented, yet after more than seven months this hollow promise also remains unfulfilled.