Labour protests have been taking place in Iran for years. Workers from a wide range of industries have had grievances about their pay, their working conditions and their contracts (or lack thereof).
MEK supporters from the city of Ahvaz reported that the workers from the National Industrial Steel Group held a protest on Monday 11th January in the city of Ahvaz in the province of Khuzestan.
They were protesting the establishment of an organisation that disregards the interests of the people in favour of the regimes. The organisation in question is called the Islamic Labour Council and is present in several different labour communities across the country.
The workers issued a statement saying that the Islamic Labour Council has no place in their company, describing it as a “nest of corruption and conspiracy against workers”.
The following day, MEK supporters from the city of Khorramabad reported that in the city of Khorramabad in the western part of the country, workers from District 2 of the municipality gathered to protests about the overdue salaries that they have not received for several months. They gathered in front of the main municipality building.
There were about 50 workers present in total at the protest gathering. They work for a contractor. Many had not received their salaries for eight months leaving them in very precarious financial situations.
The workers said that not only have their salaries been withheld, but to add insult to injury, their insurance payments going to the social security organisation have been delayed, seven per cent of which is deducted from their salaries. They also referred to the hollow promises they have been given.
Other workers from the private sector also held protest rallies.
On Monday 11th January, employees from several medical centres in the province of East Azarbaijan in the north-western part of the country gathered in from of the local governor’s office. They called on the governor to listen to and to address the issues that they are faced with.
A nurse at the protest rally spoke about the current difficulties that medical workers are experiencing because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The nurse said that medical workers and nurses, in particular, are being burdened with a huge amount amid this health crisis. They said that despite being hailed the heroes of the pandemic, the ones that are risking everything on the frontline, many medical workers are not even being paid their salaries.
Working conditions across the country were already poor before the health crisis, but they have just worsened over the past year. Medical workers are obviously faced with huge challenges, but other workers are also suffering. Following periods of lockdowns, many families have found themselves in a difficult economic situation, forcing them back to work whether they are safe or not.
Of course, economic problems have been a consequence of the pandemic too, but the regime has failed to help the people in the same way governments across the world have helped their people. The desperate situation is forcing many to take to the streets and protest.