Iran, October 21, 2019—Workers of the Azarab factory in the city of Arak, western Iran, continued their ongoing strike for the 12th consecutive day on Sunday, October 20th, by blocking the northern railway that leads to the city’s southern sections. These protesting workers are demanding measures against regime-linked groups that are taking control over their factory under the pretext of “privatization,” leaving many of these workers unemployed and others going on for months without being paid.
The regime’s anti-riot forces and police units began viciously attacking the protesting workers at 3 pm in the afternoon, using batons and firing tear gas at their rally site. Many workers were injured as a result. The attacking security forces even resorted to breaking windows of the factory and vehicles parked in the area.
Azarab workers on strike in Arak, western Iran, blocking the north-south railway – October 20, 2019
Anti-riot units attacking Azarab factory workers in Arak, western Iran – October 20, 2019
Azarab factory in Arak – Windows broken by regime security forces – October 20, 2019
“Hail to the brave workers of Azarab, Arak, who blocked the north-south railway on the 12th day of their protests, and resisted against the attacks and tear gas volleys by security forces. I call upon the people of Arak, particularly the courageous youths, to rise up and support the workers.”
NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mohammad Mohaddessin also weigh in on the subject.
On Oct. 20, Workers at Azarab factory in #Arak (central #Iran) continued their protests for the 12th day running. The enraged workers blocked #Tehran -Ahvaz railway. Security forces fired teargas & arrested several workers.#FreeIran— Mohammad Mohaddessin (@Mohaddessin) October 20, 2019
In other news reports, workers of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane company in the city of Shush, Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran, continued their strike for the 28th consecutive day on Sunday, October 20, in support of their expelled colleagues, protesting lack of job security, and stating demands for an end to so-called “privatization” measures.
Other reports from Haft Tapeh indicate the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence agents raided the home of Yousef Bahmani, a Haft Tapeh employee, on Thursday in an effort to arrest him. His home is located in the main section where other Haft Tapeh employees own houses.
The regime’s judiciary officials have arrested 13 Haft Tapeh workers on bogus charges of “association” and “raising demands to be employed.”
Mr. Abbas Davari, head of the NCRI Labor Committee, said the following in an October 10th interview with Iran National Television (NCRI), an opposition-affiliated satellite network:
“We must first evaluate the grounds for such protests. A short look at the society is truly heartbreaking. As if the country has literally been divided in two. One being the ruling elite with their luxury homes and recreational assets that are truly mind-boggling. The other being the people, especially these hardworking workers who are truly suffering in poverty,” he said.
“Iranian regime officials are acknowledging the fact that the poverty line has surpassed the 80 million rial mark. All the while, the official minimum wage for workers is set at 25 million rials. As a result, when we take into consideration the status quo, and evaluate remarks by regime officials regarding food basket costs rising by 100 percent, one begins to realize how difficult conditions are for workers who are not receiving their wages on schedule. They lack job security and regime-linked investors are pocketing huge amounts in profits. This is exactly why protests by workers across the country are continuing,” Mr. Davari explained.