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Iran: Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers continue strike for 52nd day

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company protesting and on strike for the 52nd day in Shush, Khuzestan province, southwest Iran—August 5, 2020
Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company protesting and on strike for the 52nd day in Shush, Khuzestan province, southwest Iran—August 5, 2020

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, August 5, 2020—Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company on Wednesday, August 5, continued their protests and on strike for the 52nd day in Shush, Khuzestan province, southwest Iran. A number of these workers rallied outside the governor’s office in Shush where the declared their protests and strike will continue until their demands are met.

The Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company workers are making the following demands:

- Immediate payments of their delayed paychecks and insurance booklets being extended

- Immediate rehiring of all of their colleagues who have been expelled from work

- Corrupt company officials being arrested and expelled from the Haft Tappeh company

- Immediate return of all the embezzled money from this company to the workers

There are other outstanding demands that the workers have raised and are refusing to backdown until all their terms are met.

These protesting workers have at times during their protests marched into the city, chanting slogans against the company officials and their deceptive measures to plunder the workers under the pretext of privatization.

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.”

Iranian regime insiders and experts continue to warn about the social consequences of mishandling the coronavirus crisis and economic woes. An Iranian regime sociologist warned about the explosive situation of the society and the possibility of a new “uncontrollable” uprising.

In an interview on August 1 with the state-run daily Setareh Sobh, Amanollah Gharayi Moghadam said: “For years, I’ve been speaking as the ideation room of the police. I have worked for many years as a sociologist in the Judiciary… so I’m not bluffing. My remarks are based on a scientific theory. The youths are fed up. They are waiting. It was just two weeks ago when social media users tweeted 12 million times the hashtag ‘do not execute’ in protest to death sentences for three youths arrested during the November 2019 events. We must think of our youths. We must do something, otherwise unfortunately the danger is predicted. If this match is lit, putting down the fire will be very difficult.”

Iranian workers no longer have anything to lose and this is a dangerous situation for the regime. Many of the regime’s experts and insiders are warning about the society’s explosive situation. Mohammad Ali Vakili, a former member of the Majlis (parliament) presidium said on August 1, to the state-run Ebtekar daily, that people’s living conditions are poor and have reached a warning point. “Reaching the boiling point means the workers’ movement have surpassed the protests phase,” he said with deep concerns.

“We must wait for various social [unrests] and revolts… What I mean by this is what happened in December 2017 and November 2019. If the establishment fails to handle the people’s despair regarding their economic dilemmas, we must brace for the consequences and other events…” said Amanollah Gharayi Moghadam, a sociologist close to the regime, in an interview on August 1 with the state-run Setareh Sobh daily.

Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the protesting workers in Abadan, Qeshm, Parsian, Lamerd, Mahshahr and South Pars, emphasizing that the oppressed workers have rightfully risen in demand of their wages and pensions that have been plundered by the mullahs' regime.