Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 2, 2020—The deprived workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company continued their strike on Thursday, July 2, for the 18th consecutive day by holding a march in the city of Shush in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, southwest Iran.
The workers were heard chanting:
“Workers would rather die than live in shame!”
“We don’t want a governor who accepts bribes!”
“One less embezzlement case and our problems will be resolved!”
On Wednesday, July 1, the protesting workers had held their rally with a gathering outside the city governor’s office in Shush. The protesting workers had marched into the city, chanting slogans against the company officials and their deceptive measures to plunder the workers under the pretext of privatization. The protesting workers said they will continue their protests and gatherings in the city of Shush until their demands are addressed properly.
“No to living in shame!”
“A hungry kid won’t listen to mere pledges!”
The main demands raised by the protesting workers are:
- Immediate payment of their delayed paychecks and extending their insurance booklets
- Their colleagues who have been expelled from their jobs be returned to work immediately
- All company officials involved in corruption be expelled from their posts
- Immediately returning all the embezzled money from the company to the workers
- Retired managers should no longer have any say in the company’s affairs and make room for new individuals
In other protest reports from across Iran, Municipal workers in the city of Bushehr held a rally and went on strike on Monday protesting not receiving their paychecks for the past four months and not receiving their promised new year bonuses (due on March 20 based on the Iranian calendar new year Nowrouz).
“I truly don’t understand what kind of supervision these members of our city council actually have. They have literally abandoned everything. You don’t need to do anything for the city. At least provide the paychecks of municipal workers. We are even weaker than the everyday workers seen here and there in this city. This is how they treat workers that are literally cleaning up our city. Today I heard workers were on strike for not receiving their paychecks and new year bonuses. They had every right to protest. [Officials] don’t need to do anything in this city. Just see to the demands of these people. Each month they do something against these poor workers. We need to evaluate their paychecks and only then we realize how troubling the situation actually is,” said one civilian participating in the rally.
In the city of Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, operators of the Hormozgan High Voltage Sites rallied outside the regional Electricity Department in this province demanding quick action to have their job statuses clarified immediately.
Participants in this rally protested recent promises by the regime’s Labor Minister to change the status of “yellow-cap” workers to permanent employees, saying local officials are delaying necessary measures and not providing any answers. In the past few weeks employees of other high voltage sites in various provinces have also held similar rallies, demanding answers and actions regarding their jobs.
Nurses protest in Gilan province
A group of nurses in Gilan province, northern Iran, rallied in Parastar Avenue in the city of Rasht outside the head office of the Gilan Medical Sciences University on Monday, protesting university officials’ refusal to live up to their promises regarding their job statuses.
As protests continue in different Iranian cities, state-run news outlets are warning against the possibility of nationwide protests re-emerging.
Mostaghel daily wrote on July 28: “We’re passing another year with back-breaking rent prices, shared homes, grave-dwelling, tent-dwelling, and sleeping on rooftops.” Mostaghel warned that a large part of the population is “incapable of providing their basic needs” while “four-percenters are getting fatter every day,” a reference to the four percent elite who are living lavish lifestyles at the expense of the people. Mostaghel concluded by warning that these two groups will eventually confront each other, “and in this confrontation, the loser will not be those who have nothing to lose.”
Aftab-e Yazd wrote on July 29: “When the people have nothing to lose, they will let go of life itself. Something must be done before the situation gets worse.”
Hashem Hashemzadeh Herisi, a member of the Assembly of Experts, warned, “The current situation of the society is unbearable. The distance between the people and the establishment grows every day… The situation is very critical. We can’t sit by and let the establishment die.”