Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, October 3, 2019—On Wednesday, several Iranian cities witnessed demonstrations by angry citizens who were protesting to intensifying economic woes and lack of public services.
In Arak, the workers of Azarab Factory in Arak gathered at the Sanat Square in protest to the unsettled state of the company’s ownership. The workers of this company have been regularly protesting to delayed wages and poor working conditions.
The Iranian regime’s authorities arrested the CEO of Azarab in September, but the situation has grown worse for the workers, who now also have dealt with uncertainty in the factory’s management and lack of accountability among officials.
In Kuhdasht, Lorestan province, store owners and merchants gathered in front of the governor’s office in this city and protested to the regime’s inaction in sending relief efforts and aid after flash floods destroyed much of the region in March and April.
Regime officials had promised to help repair damage made to the city, but after the passage of several months, the residents of the region have yet to see any concrete actions by the government.
In Yazd province, the residents of Sadrabad demonstrated in front of the governor’s office, protesting to the digging of a well by the government, which has resulted in the disruption of the region’s water resources. According to the residents, the measures by the authorities will result in the drying of local wells, which the residents use for potable water and irrigation.
Haft Tape Sugar Cane Mill protest (file photo)
In Khuzestan, the managers of the Haft Tapeh sugar mill were forced to renew the contract of 17 workers after nine continuous days of strikes and protests at the factory. The workers of Haft Tapeh, Iran’s largest sugar producer, launched a strike last week after managers refused to renew the contracts of 20 of the company’s workers.
The workers continued their strikes and protests despite the presence of security forces and threats by the company’s management to fire or arrest them. At length, the city council of Shush, where the factory is located, was forced to back down from the decision and compel the company to hire the contractors. The contracts of three of the dismissed workers remain suspended.
In the past year, the workers of Haft Tapeh have held strikes and demonstrations on several occasions in protest to poor working conditions and unpaid wages. Last year, they held a strike that lasted several weeks and gained widespread support inside Iran and among labor communities across the world. The regime, however, responded to the demands of the workers by cracking down on their protests and arresting and torturing the organizers of the strike.