NewsSpecial WireStarving workers in Iran forced to search waste-bins for...

Starving workers in Iran forced to search waste-bins for food

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Apr. 03 – Workers in Iran are living far below the minimum wage after a recent government decision to hold the minimum wage line at 122,000 Toumans (the equivalent of 1.22 million Rials or $120) per month, according to an Iranian labour expert. Saeid Keyani, speaking to a state-run news agency, said, “Workers in provinces such as Bandar Abbas, the economical hubs of the country, not only are unable to see the colour of meat year by year, but just so as to get their family by they are forced to look for food in city waste-bins”. Iran Focus

Tehran, Apr. 03 – Workers in Iran are living far below the minimum wage after a recent government decision to hold the minimum wage line at 122,000 Toumans (the equivalent of 1.22 million Rials or $120) per month, according to an Iranian labour expert.

Saeid Keyani, speaking to a state-run news agency, said, “Workers in provinces such as Bandar Abbas, the economical hubs of the country, not only are unable to see the colour of meat year by year, but just so as to get their family by they are forced to look for food in city waste-bins”.

Iran’s Supreme Labour Council recently announced that from the start of the Persian New Year (March 21) the minimum wage for workers would stand at 122,000 Toumans.

The decision has drawn outrage among workers from all sectors of Iranian society and its implications are affecting a large portion of the Iranian population. Basic household goods and food have increased in price since the Persian New Year, with oranges standing at 1,000 Toumans per kilogram.

With most Iranians unable to own their own house, the majority have to pay rent of about 150,000 Toumans per month, which itself is impossible for those earning the new legalised minimum wage.

Still, the reality in Iran is that the majority of those entitled to minimum wage are actually receiving just over half of what was officially set out. In a recent sit-in by protesting workers in Tehran banners were held, reading:

“Poverty line = 300,000 Toumans !!!
Basic survival line = 100,000 Toumans !!!
Workers’ Salary = 70,000 Toumans !!!”

Keyhani said that workers, many of which work for 18 hours a day, were expecting a substantial increase in the national minimum wage to cover for the ever increasing prices of food and rent. The results of the government’s decision will affect crime levels and the rate of smuggling, he added.

The head of the Worker’s Union in the city of Bushehr (southwest Iran) yesterday said, “122,000 Toumans is not even sufficient for workers to get by”, and added that it would lead to the country becoming more unstable.

Similarly the head of the Worker’s Union for Shahryar (southwest of Tehran) yesterday called the latest sum “an embarrassment”. Hossein Baqeryan said, “I don’t know by which standards the minimum wage rate was approved; this figure is mind-blowing considering the cost of living and it should be considered as an embarrassment.

The Worker’s Union chief of Kerman (southwest Iran) said that for workers earning minimum wage this year daily bread would be considered a luxury item.

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