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Iranian workers continue protests over privatization of oil company

Protests in Zanjan and Karaj
Protests in Zanjan and Karaj

Reported by PMOI/MEK


Iran, Feb. 19, 2019 - The workers of Jahan Vegetable Oil Company in Zanjan, Azerbaijan province, have been protesting for several days over the privatization of the company and eight months of unpaid wages. On Sunday, the workers held the third consecutive day of their demonstrations in front of the governor’s office in Zanjan.

The workers have been protesting for several months over unpaid wages and lack of job security. In November, after several week of protests, officials promised to regularly pay the company's workers, which number in the hundreds.

But those promises were not properly kept, and in January, the workers returned to the streets to protests against remaining work condition problems. The workers are also worried that the factory is gradually moving toward shutdown as work is becoming scarce and company officials regularly claim they don’t have the funds to operate the vegetable oil factory.

One of the main source of problems in Iran’s industries is the “privatization” of different factories and companies. The practice involves transferring the ownership of pertinent public sector companies to individuals who are strongly tied to regime officials and institutions. The companies are usually liquidated at low prices and are then exempted from oversight and transparency rules, giving their new owners a venue to plunder the riches of the country. Several important Iranian companies have so far been driven toward bankruptcy and shutdown through privatization. The workers of Jahan Oil are afraid that a similar future stands in their path.



Karaj: workers of Khomeini hospital stage demonstrations

In news elsewhere, the workers of Khomeini hospital in Karaj held protests to the uncertain future of the hospital and lack of actions by authorities to settle the ownership of the hospital.

The workers of Khomeini hospital have been regularly protesting over their poor wages and deteriorating work conditions. In November, an Iranian official admitted that because of unpaid wages and poor living conditions, some of the workers have been forced to sell their cars and houses and in some cases, the workers have been selling their own body organs at the hospital just make ends meet for their families.

The transfer of ownership of the hospital was supposed to solve the problems of the workers, but so far nothing has materialized.





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