A widespread strike in the oil, natural gas, and petrochemical sectors, including at power plants, continued for the 18th day on Sunday 18th August.
The strikers are spread across 23 cities in 12 provinces, including in Mohr, Ahvaz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Bandar-e Kangan, Khorramshahr, Mahshahr, Tabriz, Abadan, Urmia, Ilam, and several others.
Workers in Iran’s oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries and power plants in 23 cities across 12 provinces continued their nationwide strikes and protests for the sixteenth consecutive day on Sunday, August 16.#Iran#IranProtests2020 https://t.co/3hnz3WbpCP
— People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) August 17, 2020
The workers have a number of demands that they are calling on the regime to address, including the regular and timely payment of wages. For many people across the world, it is a given that wages are paid on time, but many workers in Iran do not have this same luxury. Wages are often overdue for long periods of time – something that really affects living standards in a country where low paid workers feel the effects of poverty.
The workers are also calling for job benefits to be awarded to them, including insurance premiums. They want workers to stop being dismissed and they want long working hours to be reduced.
Furthermore, due to the poor working conditions that the employees in the sector face, they have called for a legal advisory board to be established and would like to be allowed to form labor unions that are currently banned. They also call for the dismissal of corrupt contractors.
#Iran: The 16th Day of Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Workers and Employees #Strike in 23 Cities and 12 Provinces.
Workers, maintaining unity and #solidarity, insisted on continuing the strike until all their demands were met fully. #iranprotests2020 https://t.co/jhmZIRDLhz
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) August 17, 2020
The workers have been given vague promises by contractors and employers in a bid to end the strikes and resume normal working activities. The promises are empty promises and the workers are aware of this. They will not be fooled by promises they know will never happen.
They vow to continue striking and the protesters and strikers are showing remarkable solidarity between themselves. Their strike, they say, will end when their demands have been met in full.
It is not just workers in this sector that are striking and protesting – there are also other workers calling for their rights.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), the main opposition organization, and the MEK Resistance Units have dedicated their efforts to this and expressed their solidarity with the oil industry workers whose strike continues for more than two weeks.
Teachers across the country have also been protesting. They are calling for their concerns to be addressed, including the establishment of official employment contracts. Many of them gathered in front of the regime’s parliament building. They also gathered in the provinces of Razavi Khorasan, Alborz, Khuzestan, Qazvin, and Qom.
Railway workers in a number of cities including Mashhad and Tehran were on strike. Workers from HEPCO Arak Company continued their 16th day of rallies on Sunday.
I urge the International Labor Organization and trade unions to condemn the clerical regime’s anti-labor policies and to support the Iranian workers’ protests and strikes. #Iranprotestshttps://t.co/xrUyFMa2Gz
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) August 11, 2020
Workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. also continued their strike for the 63rd day on Saturday in the province of Khuzestan. They gathered at the governor’s building in Shush. These workers have also displayed their unity and solidarity and have vowed to continue striking until their demands have been met.
They are calling for all outstanding wages to be paid and the renewal of their insurance. They want their dismissed colleagues to be reinstated and they want the immediate return of the workers’ plundered and embezzled funds. And finally, they are calling for the dismissal of corrupt employers and the arrest of the company’s CEO Omid Assadbeigi.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI): I urge the International Labor Organization and trade unions to condemn the clerical regime’s anti-labor policies and to support the Iranian workers’ protests and strikes.