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Iran: Increasing solidarity with Haft Tapeh workers

Scene of a protest rally held by Haft Tapeh sugar cane mill workers in Shush
Scene of a protest rally held by Haft Tapeh sugar cane mill workers in Shush

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

 

Iran, Nov. 23, 2018 - At a time when the brave Haft Tapeh sugar cane mill workers in Shush, southwest Iran, are protesting for the third consecutive week, there are increasing signs of workers in other factories across the country and people from all walks of life also launching protests and strikes. Many cities are witnessing such scenes of escalating protests and this phenomenon is evolving into a major concern for the Iranian regime.

Employees of various factories and workshops throughout Iran were seen rallying outside a labor institution in Tehran recently demanding better paychecks. These strikes and protest rallies are continuing as we speak, with farmers in Isfahan, central Iran, also joining this wave and demanding their share of river waters for their farms.

Such indications are also seen in Ahvaz where employees of the National Steel Group are on strike and demanding their delayed paychecks.

The Greater Tehran Bus Drivers Syndicate issued a statement on November 20 condemning the apprehension of Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers.

A group of workers in Arak’s Hepco factory raised a large banner voicing their support for the Haft Tapeh employees. Such solitary was also voiced by students of Tehran University in the Central Pardis district.

A group of municipality workers in Abadan, Ahvaz, and Hamidiyeh; students of Noshirvani Industrial University in Babol; students of Khayam University in Mashhad; personnel of the Khomeini Hospital in Karaj, a group of street vendors of Taleghani bazaar in Bandar Abbas and others were all protesting this week.

The increasing wave of protests and strikes has left Iranian regime officials extremely concerned, especially after refusing to provide any coverage for the Haft Tapeh protests for over two weeks. Various regime officials are expressing major concerns and issuing warnings to senior regime figures over these developments.

“A look at the measures and narratives used by the media and government officials, one can reach the conclusion that the workers’ demands are of no importance to the government. Pro-government media are completely silent on this matter and government officials are acting as if there is no such place as the Haft Tapeh sugar cane mill, let alone hear the voice of these protesting workers,” an article in the state-run Bahar website read in part.

“The truth is that the Haft Tapeh employees are only a group of workers that are suffering from harsh living conditions and a significant portion of the society’s weaker branches are facing such difficulties and literally struggling to make ends meet. As a result, what is taking place in Haft Tapeh is not only related to those workers and represents a large portion of our society that lives under the pressure resulting from wrong decisions made by incompetent officials.”

As a result of major internal disputes, the Asr-e Iran website, another state-run outlet, also wrote a piece saying: “For a better understanding of the people’s hardships, officials should visit their locals marks and see how the 2 million rial subsidies provided to those earning less than 30 million rials a month, only cover a family’s expenses for a mere few days. Officials are delivering speeches every day; the parliament continuously seeks to impeach this or that official, and other institutions are only seeking to keep themselves busy with other issues.”

With protests and strikes on the rise, the mullahs’ crises will push the regime to the tipping point. 

 

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