Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, August 18, 2019 —The statistics center of Iran has recently release a report which states more than 2 million workers have been removed from the labor market. This means unemployment in Iran has increased sharply. Why? One of the main reasons for the increase in unemployment is the shutdown of factories and workshops due to lack of material and the unbridled import of products by the Iranian regime.
In the current situation, we’re witnessing an increasing number of labor protests across the country, which shows that the economic crisis is taking its toll on all segments of the Iran’s labor community. In the July, more than 250 labor protests were recorded across Iran. 130 of these protests were associated to workers who were demonstrating because they hadn’t received their salaries, whose salaries had been reduced, or who had been fired.
The most underprivileged workers took part in these protests. But how does the regime respond to the most legitimate demands of Iranian workers?
Prison sentences and lashes for workers
In Shush, Khuzestan province, the regime’s authorities recently sentenced several workers of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Mill to eight months in prison and 20 lashes. These workers had been arrested during their strikes and protests last fall, which had been in objection to poor working conditions, unpaid salaries and the corruption of factory authorities.
In Tehran, an Iranian regime court is trying a member of the syndicate of Tehran bus drivers for “disrupting public order and spreading propaganda against the system.” His alleged crime was taking part in the Labor Day march and protesting for the rights of workers. The regime arrested many protestors who participated in the march. Several are still in prison.
On Monday, the regime sentenced another labor activist to four months in prison and five lashes.
Poor working and safety conditions
In Yazd, a 36-year-old worker in the Yazd Steel Factory lost his life after he was electrocuted due to poor safety in the workplace. During the previous week, another worker lost his life due to gas leaks. At least three other workers have lost their lives in this factory because of poor safety conditions since the beginning of the year.
In Shahin Shahr, Isfahan, another worker was injured after falling in a well.
Many of Iran’s factories lack the most basic safety precautions and facilities. This is costing many workers, who are the only breadwinners of their families, their lives.
The Iranian regime has no response
Many Iranian regime officials are warning that the continuously declining economic conditions will eventually lead to mass protests by workers and other segments of the Iranian society, which they call “The army of the hungry.”
But so far, as the regime’s behavior toward protesting workers shows, the regime’s only response to the just demands of the workers is crackdown and repression.
The regime’s own corrupt and destructive policies are the main cause of poverty and unemployment in Iran. This triggers anti-government protests, which the regime then tries to stifle through brutal repression to continue its corrupt rule. But this is a cycle that will not last forever. At one point, this chain will be broken, and then the regime will be helpless in face of the 40-year-old outrage of the suppressed workers of Iran.