Reported by PMOI/MEK
[Update] Iran, Nov. 29, 2018 - Thursday saw the 25th consecutive day of strikes and protests by the workers of Haft Tapeh sugar mill in Shush, Khuzestan. The strikes began earlier this month in protest to unpaid wages and the policies of the private owners of the factory, which have led the company toward bankruptcy.
In a written statement, the workers have reiterated their demands, which also include the release of their imprisoned colleague Esmail Bakhshi. Last week, the regime’s security forces arrested several protesters but were forced to release them under the pressure of ongoing protests and growing solidarity with the workers of Haft Tapeh. Bakhshi, who was one of the representatives and spokespersons of the protesters, remains in custody.
The workers also published a comprehensive list of their demands on their Telegram channel. What’s interesting is that most of the demands refer to the Iranian regime’s own laws. For instance, according to the regime’s own labor law, employers are responsible for the workers’ commute to work, or they must include the costs in workers’ paychecks. But many of the Haft Tapeh workers are commuting to work with their own vehicles and must pay the costs of fuel and vehicle maintenance out of their meager salaries. Employers must also provide their workers with at least one ration of warm food, which Haft Tapeh have also been deprived of.
The workers’ list also includes items such as insurance fees, job security for contract workers, provision of work tools and material, regular payment of salaries, and other very basic demands. The workers of Haft Tapeh are bearing very harsh working conditions. And according to the regime’s own officials, Haft Tapeh is just a sample of what’s going on in hundreds of factories across Iran.
List of demands by workers of Haft Tapeh
Update – 7:30am local time: According to local reports, on Thursday, security forces attacked the home of Ali Nejati, one of the members of the syndicate of Haft Tapeh workers, and arrested him. When Nejati and his family member demanded that the security forces show an arrest warrant, the agents beat them.
The workers of Haft Tapeh are marching toward the mayor’s offices, chanting, “Imprisoned workers must be freed” and “Nationalize the company.”
Drivers from across Iran expressed their support for the demands of the workers of Haft Tapeh through video messages. One of the drivers said, “I understand your situation. I am a driver and we too are facing harsh conditions. I stand with you and wish you the best of luck in achieving your demands.”