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Iran: Teachers, workers protest poor working conditions, unpaid wages in several cities

Protests by education workers in different cities
Protests by education workers in different cities

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 23, 2021—Janitors and utility employees of Iran’s education system held protest rallies in front of the offices of the education ministry in Tehran, Lorestan, and Qazvin provinces on Sunday. The demonstrators are protesting discrimination in salaries and poor working conditions.

These protests, which have been ongoing in other provinces as well, started after the regime’s administrative court of justice ruled to reduce the salaries of many workers. According to a May 15 report by the state-run IMNA news agency, janitors and utility workers receive 25-30 million rials per month, which given the current state of inflation and skyrocketing prices, is not much. According to many estimates, the poverty line for a family of four is around 100 million rials per month, which means these workers are receiving 25-30 percent of what they need to provide the most basic needs of their families.

According to the same report, the workers have also been deprived of coverage of working attire and bonuses that are attributed to the kinds of jobs they perform. This will impose even more expenses on these workers.

Another February 21 report by Tasnim states that at least 16,000 utility workers are living on 28-million-rial wages, and it’s very hard for them to run their lives with such low salaries. They are also receiving no bonuses for extra work hours.

Also on Sunday, a group of contract teachers working in non-profit schools held a protest rally in front of the Majlis (parliament) and demanded regime officials to address their demands. One of the protesters said, “We are doing the same work as official teachers, but we’re being paid a third of the salary. We are deprived of job benefits, and our insurance is never paid in full.”

One of the teachers said, “Our salaries are sometimes even lower than those of workers. We’re not even given the respect of a simple worker. Majlis members must think about the work conditions of thousands of contract teachers and force the education ministry to employ these teachers.”

According to the protesters, most contract teachers have Bachelor’s and even Master’s degrees and have several years of experience of work, but they are currently in the worse employment conditions.

In tandem with the protest in Tehran, contract teachers in Zabol county, Sistan and Baluchestan province, held a protest rally, demanding job security and better work conditions and wages for their hard work.

Protest rally by municipality workers in Chabahar

On Saturday, a group of nurses and medical workers at hospitals and emergency centers in Tehran who are members of the Health System Cooperative Company held a protest rally in front of the local offices of the judiciary. Eight years ago, these people had invested in a construction project that is controlled by a regime-linked businessman who now has a corruption file in the judiciary. But the judiciary is refraining from processing the dossier and returning the investments to the nurses and workers.

In Chabahar, municipality workers held a rally in front of the municipality headquarters and protested unpaid wages. These workers have not received their salaries for three months.

In Izeh, Khuzestan province, the workers of the water and sewage company held a rally and protested 10 months of delayed wages.