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Iran’s labor force: half the country living in poverty

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, October 2, 2019—The livelihoods and economic situation of workers in Iran continues to deteriorate dramatically year after year. Facts and figures revealed by Iranian regime officials lead to the mind-blowing conclusion that no one would believe ten years ago.

Workers in different countries may live in bad conditions, but there are many factors that makes the situation of workers in Iran worse when compared to democratic countries, especially in the west.

In Iran, the workers are systematically denied their basic rights. In 2019, the Iranian regime excluded contract workers from Labor Law and denied them their basic rights. Meanwhile, those few workers who do get support from the Labor Law struggle to afford the cost of their livelihoods.

In August 2019, Ali Khodaie, a member of the regime's High Labor Council revealed that only 4 percent of Iranian workers enjoy job security.

Iran has 14 million workers. When considering their families, 42 million out of Iran’s 80-million population is composed of labor families.

On September 6, 2019, the vice president of the Iranian regime’s Institution for Coordinating Labor Councils in Eastern Azerbaijan province told state-run news agency Tasnim, “According to experts’ reports and figures, over 90 percent of workers in Iran have temporary contracts that last one to three months, while many of them have more than 10 or 20 years of working background.” 

According to Financial Observer, “Among the member states of the European Union, the highest level of short-term employment is recorded in Croatia (8.4 percent of all the employed in 2016).” While In Croatia, which has the worst condition in Europe, job insecurity is 8.4 percent, in Iran, 90 percent of workers lack job security.

This means 12.6 million Iranian workers have no job security, and factoring in their families, at least 40 million Iranians don't have a guaranteed livelihood

 

 In Iran, 90 percent of workers lack job security

Short-term employees chart in European Union (Source-Financial Observer)

Short-term employees chart in European Union (Source: Financial Observer)

 

Moreover, on August 17, 2019, the state-run newspaper Hamshahri stated that “Over 3.5 million workers have not been registered anywhere” and don't have any rights

August 17, 2019, the state-run newspaper Hamshahri stated that, “Over 3.5 million workers have not been registered anywhere

On August 17, 2019, the state-run newspaper Hamshahri stated that "Over 3.5 million workers have not been registered anywhere"

 

“The base rate of workers’ wage can just cover 35 percent of their lives,” said Khodaie. The real situation, however, is even worse. According to Iran's 2019 budget, the base monthly salary for workers is about $125. Meanwhile, the Central Bank declared poverty line in Iran is $580.

This means that according to the Central Bank’s figures, the monthly salary of Iranian workers is just enough to cover costs of living for six days, less than half of what Khodaie claims.

 monthly salary for workers is about $125. Meanwhile, the Central Bank declared poverty line in Iran is $580

 

 

Additionally, there is a long list of factories and companies whose workers have not received their salaries for months. At the same time, labor protests are met with the Iranian regime's iron fist. The regime suppresses all major labor protests, or at best, turns a blind eye on workers' demands and rights.

HEPCO industrial machinery factory,  the biggest of its kind in the Middle East, Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Mill, and Iran’s National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) are just some examples where workers are regularly protesting and demanding for overdue wages. The regime’s response to all these protests has been to dither on meeting the demands and dispatching security forces to crack down on the underprivileged workers.

The past 40 years have proven that the mullahs’ regime has no respect for the rights of Iranian workers.

But Iran’s workers have proven they have the will to continue their struggle. Despite the regime’s negligence of their and its brutal treatment of their protests, the workers of Iran continue to come to the streets every day to raise their voices and fight for their basic rights. And with every passing day, they become more united and earn the sympathy of their brethren across Iran and freedom-loving people across the world.

 

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