Economy Suffering, Hunger, and Humiliation – Iranian Workers’ Situation in...

Suffering, Hunger, and Humiliation – Iranian Workers’ Situation in a Home Appliances Company

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The following report is from a worker of a home appliances company in Iran. He narrates hardships and economic dilemmas he faces as an example of the dire situation of the workers in Iran.

The worker started his words with these sentences:

“The employer of this company deducts from the workers’ salaries 3-4 million rials [$10-13.3] for throwing away the adhesives tape used for packaging. These adhesives are used for copper pipes or sewage outlets of refrigerators and other things. This action of the company is very strange, and it is not clear what it had to do with the salary of the workers, that the employer is deducting the costs of the wasting adhesives from their salaries.”

They take $16 from us for food

The worker said: “The company deducts 400,000 rials [$1.3] a month from the workers’ salaries for food, which is 4.8 million rials [$16] a year. While food vouchers are given twice a year, which costs 2.5-3 million rials [$8.3-10] each time. That means, they give the worker less than the money they took from him. You see, from one side they give the worker and from the other side they take it back, and so they are playing with the workers.”

He added then that his friend works for a steel company in the Dezful industrial town and is dissatisfied with his work situation.

I say, what happened to our overtime? They say if you do not like it you can go

He says, “that if we have 250 hours, 180 hours, or 200 hours of overtime, we see that they register just 30 to 35 hours per month of overtime. Then we go and object, to this situation. And say that we had 200 hours of overtime. What happened to our overtime (money)? They say that is what it is if you want, work! You do not want, settle accounts, and go! And in front of the door, there are so many unemployed workers queuing and begging to be hired, and it is in their interest to fire an experienced worker and hire a new one. Ten people leave every day, and 10 people return.”

Iran Workers Situation in Coronavirus Era

I work for 15 hours!

“A worker in a home appliances company receives 31-32 million [$103-106] rials per month. With that, he must support himself and his family, while this amount of salary is deep below the poverty line and the workers are living in hardship. This worker pays 2.1 million rials [$7] per month only for the company bus transportation to reach his home.”

The interviewed worker said about the conditions of his colleagues:” Out of 32 million rials [$106], only 30 million rials [$100] are left for him. He is married and has two children. I say I get 35-40 million rials [$116-133], and I say it is not enough. I am single. How do you live your life with 30 million rials [$100], he shakes his head and keeps silent?”

A worker said, “Our working day started from home to the company, we must be present at 7 o’clock in the morning, and are working until 8 pm, which is 15 hours, and we are working just for 30 million rials [$100] a month.”

Resting just 4 minutes

He added: “15 minutes in the morning for breakfast, half an hour for lunch, 10 minutes in the evening for a tea. The place where the tea is served is 6 minutes away from the place of work. That means you only get 4 minutes of rest. All the worker’s rest is less than one hour a day.

“For breakfast, the company gives only one Barbari bread [Iranian flatbread] or half a loaf of bread with just a cup of tea and says that the rest of the breakfast ingredients should be brought by the worker himself.

“I am ready to be unemployed, to do nothing, and do not have such conditions, I cannot tolerate the owner of the company violates my rights.

“I am paying 300,000-500,000 rials [$1-1.6] a week for calling and internet packages. These things do not matter to me and I can pass up from all of them, but I do not accept that the employer violates my rights.

“I shopped on the way I came; my purchases were 180,000 rials [$0.6]. Now let us say 200,000 rials [$0.66], 200,000 rials a day, that is, 6 million rials [$20] a month. I only pay for dinner. I bought a half kilo tomato paste tube for 100,000 rials [$0.33]. I pay 7.5 million rials [$25] per month for breakfast.

Sometimes we do not get the traffic service, we have to rent a car, which is 2.5 million rials [$8.3] for a month, if you reduce this amount from 32 million rials [$106], just 30 million rials [$100] left. Now you calculate how a married person should live. I am trying to set aside at least 1 million rials [$3.3], but I did not succeed. This is the situation of workers in Iran in its best situation.”

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