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Iran: Grim living conditions of 93,000 workers on the verge of Nowruz

The pitiful situation of livelihood for 93,000 workers on the eve of New Year
The pitiful situation of livelihood for 93,000 workers on the eve of New Year

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

 

March 11, 2019 - On the cusp of the Persian New Year, tens of thousands of Iranian workers are left either jobless or have not been paid for months.

"Salary compensations for 93,000 workers from 900 production units have not been paid during the past year," admitted Ali Khodai, deputy chairman of the so called Islamic Job Council Association of Iran.

"These 900 production units are owned and operated by the government or government-affiliated entities," Khodai added.

"If we assume each family has an average of four members, the lives of 372,000 individuals in total will be affected by an variety of economic and social issues" explained Khodai. "Due to numerous problems with production, these workers are embarrassed in front of their spouses and children during the New Year."

"In a situation where heavy funds are set aside in this year's budget to satisfy various work segments, allocating 4-4.5 trillion rials (approx. $285-320 million) to satisfy the needs of 93,000 families will not be a difficult task," said Khodai, pointing to the credit needed for paying off 2 months' worth of workers compensations.

"Empty dining tables during the New Year look very sad for these families, and the government would better alleviate their suffering a little, by taking action," Khodai stipulated, without pointing to the actual consequences of this crisis, and the escalating popular discontent, and by only resorting to a vague description of the crisis.

"These days, people are not rushing to their New Year shopping like previous years, and would just stare at goods displayed in showcases with despair," reported the government-affiliated Ebtekar newspaper pointing to high prices. "This is not just a claim. You just have to visit shopping centers to see people's reduced purchasing power before the New Year. It seems like hearing the arrival of the spring is not so pleasant anymore."

The news of price hikes in various markets during recent months and on the other hand the shrinkage of people’s budgets are not new events. We have witnessed people's dinner tables becoming smaller and smaller every day, as if the people are becoming used to high prices. But when it comes to spring time and Nowruz holidays, things are a bit different. People are complaining about the situation.

In spite of small pledges from some officials regarding the presence of goods and commodities in the market during the New Year holidays, people are simply feeling the weight and the burden of high prices, because they face extremely high price when they try to obtain any object. By a simple calculation, a family can easily figure that their budget does not allow them to have a decent Nowruz celebration. So according to most officials, the high prices have turned the New Year fiasco to a frustrating headache for many second and third class families, since they are unable to provide a decent celebration for their families, and that is why there are more and more cases of suicide reported in Iran every day.

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