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Unpaid wages continue to trigger labor protests in Iranian cities

Protests in Urumiyeh and Ahvaz
Protests in Urumiyeh and Ahvaz

Reported by PMOI/MEK

 

Iran, Jan. 17, 2019 - On Wednesday, the workers of the Ahvaz Urban Train project held a demonstration in front of the headquarters of the organization in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, and continued their protests to unpaid wages.

The workers of the railway project have been regularly protesting against poor working conditions and low and unpaid salaries. Their latest round of demonstrations started on Sunday. According to the workers, they haven’t received their salaries for more than 19 months. The train project is being implemented by Kayson Inc., one of the largest and wealthiest contractors of construction projects. The company has been running the workers in circles and telling them that it is lacking the financial resources to pay their overdue wages.

The railway workers are receiving very meager wages, 10-17 million rials per month ($100-170), and even that amount is not paid regularly, causing severe problem for them and their families. A considerable amount of their pay has to go to paying for water, electricity and gas bills, and not paying those bills for a single month results in their vital resources being cut off. Now imagine not having received your pay for 19 months.

In face of lack of response from local and national authorities, the workers have found no other option but to continue to protests to restore their rights.

In recent months, Khuzestan province has witnessed many prominent labor protests. In November, workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz and Haft Tapeh sugar mill in Shush held strikes and demonstrations that lasted for more than a month and garnered widespread support across the country. Like the railway protests, the steel workers of Ahvaz and the sugarcane workers of Shush started their protests over unpaid wages and poor working conditions. Iranian authorities did not respond to the demands of the workers and eventually tried to quell the demonstrations by dispatching security forces and arresting the leaders and representatives of the protesters.

But not having the minimum to make ends meet, the workers are returning to the streets to reclaim their most basic rights despite threats and repressive measures by the Iranian regime.

 

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