By Jubin Katiraie
On Sunday, contract workers expelled from the Sports Affairs Department in Gachsaran’s Oil and Gas Exploitation Company protested outside the governor’s office demanding their return to work and reminding us that they had not been paid for three months before they were fired.
One protester said: “For several weeks now, a group of sports coaches, whose only source of income was coaching in this company, have been fired under various pretexts, including company officials saying they are no longer needed. Each of them has more than ten years of work experience and their status is left in limbo so far.”
Meanwhile, over 200 employees and contract workers from the Abadan Refinery protested outside the company’s head office in Abadan over the refinery’s job classification plan. They said that the adjustment plan measures over contract workers’ payments were not implemented and they are also demanding an increase in wages based on work experience and specific duties.
The labour representatives who attended decision-making meetings were chosen by politicians, so they cannot be trusted to represent the workers.
On Saturday, workers of the Khalkhal Water and Sewerage Department in Ardabil, gathered in Khalkhal to protest the eight-month delay in receiving their wages, to which the local head of the regime’s Labour Union and Social Welfare Office threatened to fire them.
On Friday, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) shot and killed Hassan Khandeh-pour, who was married with three children and wounded another civilian, known only as “Arab”, in the Gader Mountains near Oshnaviyeh, where the two were grazing their livestock. The IRGC took Arab to an IRGC detention centre in Naqada and stole 410 sheep. This will no doubt lead to protests.
The Iranian parliament warned on Sunday that deteriorating economic conditions for workers will lead to further protests, with MP Ali Babaie admitting that all workers are below the poverty line.
MP Anvar Habibzadeh said: “Along with the difficult novel coronavirus situation, recession, inflation and unemployment are all rampant. Unbridled inflation has spread to people’s essential goods. People send me hundreds of messages daily complaining about skyrocketing prices. Dear colleagues, with these devastating prices, how can a worker feed his family”?
“The country’s economic growth has been negative for eight years. The government that claimed would solve people’s problems is now desperate for a solution. The country’s revenues have decreased by 34% since 2013. People’s purchasing power has decreased to one-third of the previous year and prices skyrocket suddenly and continually. Agricultural inputs such as corn, soybeans, etc. increase 10 times overnight, construction inputs increase more than 10 to 20 times, and poultry and meat prices skyrocket,” said Kamal Alipour, one of the regime’s MPs, on Sunday.