Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 20, 2020—The workers of HEPCO, manufacturer of industrial machines in Arak, went on strike on Sunday, protesting unpaid wages that have been overdue for more than two months. The workers rallied in front of the management office of the company.
The protesters held signs that read: “The company’s managers are industrial Daesh (ISIS),” “We demand the dismissal of the current CEO,” “We want employment,” “Coronavirus is an excuse, the want to shut down the factory.”
According to reports, the company’s security tried to prevent the workers from holding their protest rally.
Founded in 1975, HEPCO was one of the first and biggest manufacturers of construction in Iran and the Middle East. At its peak, the company produced more than 3,000 pieces of heavy machinery per year. After the 1979 revolution, HEPCO was seized by organizations and persons tied with regime officials and the notorious Revolutionary Guards. In 2006, the company was sold to the private sector as part of the regime’s “privatization” plans, schemes that put regime officials and their affiliates in control of the country’s vital resources.
Since then, the company has been on constant decline, laying off workers, delaying paychecks, and neglecting the basic rights of its employees.
Thirty-fifth day of Haft Tappeh workers' strike
Also on Sunday, the workers of Haft Tappeh sugar cane factory in Shush, Khuzestan province, held the 35th day of their strike and rallied in front of the governorate of Shush. Despite the blistering heat, with temperatures soaring above 50 degrees Celsius, the workers continue their protests and insist on their demands.
The workers are demanding the payment of their delayed wages and the renewal of their service and healthcare coupon notebooks. The workers also demand the rehiring of four workers who had been fired because of their participation in previous protests.
Protests by residents of Pardis
A group of residents of Pardis, Alborz province, held a protest rally in front of the energy ministry’s office on Saturday, protesting constant electricity outages. The people of the area are outraged at the constant outage of power during the warmest season of the year.
One of the protesters said, “The residents of area 11 of Pardis are faced with power fluctuations several times a day, which has resulted in the breakdown of home appliances. With air conditioners not working, it’s very hard to pass the summer and the electricity fluctuations are causing much financial damage to the residents. The disruptions have also shut down the water pumps of residential complexes, cutting off the water of many residents in the area.”
Regime rally in Behbehan
On Sunday, the Iranian regime gathered its agents in Behbehan, Khuzestan province, to hold pro-regime rallies in response to the anti-government protests that took place in the city days earlier. On July 16, a large group of Behbehan poured into the streets, protesting the mullahs’ rule and the regime’s destructive policies. The youth were specifically seen chanting anti-regime slogans.
The protesters were chanting: “Khamenei have some shame! Let go of the country!” in reference to the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Other slogans included:
“We don’t want the mullahs’ regime!”
“Mullahs must get lost!”
“Not Gaza! Not Lebanon! My life for Iran!”
Various videos posted on Instagram and Twitter show protesters also chanting, “Iranians would rather die than live in shame.” Other videos specifically show members of the regime’s security forces pointing pistols at unarmed protesters.
The Iranian regime is terrified of the possibility of popular protests re-emerging, especially as the mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak and deteriorating economic conditions are mounting the populations rage against the ruling mullahs.