Wednesday was the 13th consecutive day of strikes by oil-sector workers in Iran, as they demand higher wages and better working conditions because of the financial pressure they are faced with as a result of the officials’ dire policies and corruption.
The economy in Iran is in dire straights with inflation rising at a horrendous rate, which has caused the price of all goods to rise considerably, while workers have not seen an increase in their wages to match this. This means that the vast majority of Iranians are living in poverty, unable to even afford the necessities like food and shelter.
The protesters, who come from a massive 70 companies across 12 cities, vowed to continue and expand their strikes if the bosses and the authorities fail to meet their demands. Currently, protests are happening in the following areas: Arak, Ahvaz, Abadan, Behbehan, Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, Damavand, Gachsaran, Isfahan, Ilam, Jask, Kangan, Kerman, Khark, Mahshahr, Qeshm, Tehran, and Urmia.
On Tuesday, the workers of Arta Energy in Ardebil’s petrochemical factory, workers of Gama company in Jask, Lordegan’s petrochemical company, Sadaf Jahanpars, Goharzamin in Sirjan. and the Parsian Gas Refinery in Lamerd declared that they were joining the nationwide strike and repeated the demands of the protesters.
The same day, the British labour union, the National Shop Stewards Network, voiced its support for the nationwide strikes by Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical workers in a statement. The syndicate explained that the workers deserve a response to their demands, which includes a wage increase in line with inflation, permanent contracts, and better working conditions.
Of course, the oil and gas sector workers are not the only ones who have been out protesting in recent days.
Also, on Wednesday, pensioners of Sherkat-e Vahed, the Tehran bus company, protested outside the company’s offices to restate the demands that they’ve been making for months now with no response from officials. The retirees are demanding that their work insurance premiums, experience bonuses, and share from the Tehran Municipality fund be paid in full and without further delay.
While the workers of the Sepahan Cement Factory in Isfahan rallied in protest to the dismissal of their coworkers for participating in protest rallies last week. The mass firings were a way for the officials to intimidate other workers and quash protests, but it didn’t work.
The fact is that the problems faced by the Iranian workers will not be fixed while the mullahs are in power and regime overthrow is the only option.