Reported by PMOI/MEK
Iran, May 11, 2019 - Security forces in the town of Haft Tapeh, near Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan Province, responded to a protest rally held by local sugar cane workers. At least 20 workers were arrested and summoned again for questioning.
These sugarcane workers rallied and went on strike on Thursday, protesting not receiving their last two New Year bonuses and pensions. Five workers were arrested as a result and local police summoned another 15.
Workers of Haft Tapeh sugar mill were protesting for more than two weeks back in November 2018 to get their due rights and their unpaid salaries. As a result of the destructive policies of the sugar cane factory’s management and the regime authorities involved, Haft Tapeh is on the verge of total bankruptcy. This will endanger the livelihoods of thousands of workers and their family members who depend on their income to make ends meet.
The reaction of Iranian regime officials
During this period, Iranian regime officials from both rivaling factions have either remained silent or have tried to circumvent any measure that would solve the problems of the workers. While they have stood aside, they are the real culprits of the current situation in Haft Tapeh and many other factories across Iran.
The destructive policies of the Iranian regime destroyed the Haft Tapeh factory and made the biggest sugar cane factory of Iran a victim of regime authorities and their rich families. Now, under the pretext of privatization, they will be transferring what little is left of the company’s assets to regime-affiliated individuals and institutions who have a long history of embezzling billions of dollars’ worth of the Iranian people’s wealth.
During the 15 days of protests, government officials haven’t taken a single step to solve the problems of the workers.
The reaction of the people
While regime officials have tried to ignore the protests of the workers of Haft Tapeh, the people of Iran have not remained silent and have been very vocal in supporting the workers and their demands. Every day, new groups, communities, unions, and syndicates are expressing their support for the workers and their demands and are joining their protests.
Currently, teachers, truck and bus drivers, students, merchants, and other workers from different areas of Iran are voicing their support for Haft Tapeh. The sugar cane workers have also garnered the support of the steelworkers of Ahvaz, who are leading parallel demonstrations in protest to unpaid wages and poor work conditions.
International reactions to the protests of Haft Tapeh workers
On Sunday and Monday, the news of the protests and strikes of Haft Tapeh protest got worldwide attention. At least 35 different news agencies covered the news of the protests. What’s clear is that so far, the continued protests of the workers of Haft Tapeh and the solidarity of the different communities across Iran have shown that resistance against the tyranny and corruption of the Iranian regime is the only way to achieve goals and meet the just demands of the disenfranchised workers of Iran. And as the workers of Haft Tapeh have shown, they have the resolve to achieve their goals.