Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, June 30, 2021—Strikes by Iranian oil-sector workers, which began on June 19, marked its twelfth day on Wednesday. The striking workers are demanding better wages and working conditions as they are facing increasing pressure as a result of a declining economy caused from government corruption and the regime’s poor response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The worsening economic conditions have caused rampant inflation a rise in the prices of goods. Meanwhile, like many other sectors of the Iranian economy, oil and petrochemical workers have seen no significant increase in their wages, and they are struggling to provide the most basic needs of their families.
The protesters stressed that they will continue their strike and will further expand them if their demands are not met.
Since the beginning of the strike, the movement has expanded to more than 70 companies in more than a dozen cities, including Tehran, Arak, Isfahan, Ahvaz, Abadan, Mahshahr, Jask, Gachsaran, Damavand, Behbehan, Bushehr, Kangan, Qeshm, Khark, Urmia, Kerma, Bandar Abbas, and Ilam.
On Tuesday, the workers of Arta Energy in Ardebil’s petrochemical factory joined the nationwide strike.
The workers of Parsian Gas Refinery in Lamerd, Fars province, also declared their joining the strikes on Tuesday and reiterated the demands that thousands of workers have been repeating across the country.
The workers of Lordegan’s petrochemical company joined the strikes on Tuesday. Also joining the strikes were a group of 200 workers of Gama company in Jask and Sadaf Jahanpars, Goharzamin in Sirjan.
Also on Tuesday, the UK-based labor union National Shop Stewards Network declared its support of the nationwide strikes of Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical workers. In a statement, the union stressed the need to respond to the demands of the workers, provide them with permanent contracts, increase their wages, and provide them better work and leave conditions.
Oil and gas sector is not the only sector of the Iranian economy that is seeing protest movements. On Wednesday, retired employees of Tehran bus company (Sherkat-e Vahed) held a protest rally in front of the company’s offices. The retirees have been reiterating their demands for several months, but regime officials have refrained from addressing their woes, including unpaid experience bonuses, work insurance premiums, and refusal to pay their share from the Tehran Municipality fund.
In Isfahan, the workers of Sepahan Cement Factory held a rally protesting the dismissal of a group of their coworkers. The company’s authorities fired these workers because they had taken part in protest rallies in the previous week. The regime wants to thus intimidate other workers and prevent them from voicing their demands.