Iran: The Third Week of Strikes and Protests, 60 Workers Detained
Iran Uprising - No. 173
A call to support the strikers and the unconditional release of detained workers
On Tuesday, June 12, the workers of the Ahvaz Steel National Group continued to strike despite the intensive presence of repressive forces for the third week with the slogan "Detained workers must be freed". They protested against the arrest of workers, as well as the failure to pay months of salaries and bonuses and end-of-year rewards (not paid since 2011).
The workers who are living in a dire livelihood situation chanted: “The worker dies; he does not accept humiliation; Let go of Syria, think about us; Our enemy is here, they falsely say it is America; Noble citizen, support, support; Death to the oppressor, salute to the worker”. They also protest the uncertainty of ownership of the company and the lack of factory production lines.
Workers who have the support of large sections of the population of Ahvaz, in the recent days closed the Ahvaz-Tehran railway line and the Ahvaz Lashkar bridge for few hours, and gathered in front of the offices of the members of the Parliament and broke their glasses.
The repressive forces, including the anti-riot guards, plainclothes agents and intelligence agents, surrounded the crowd in order to prevent the spread of protests and arrested at least 10 people by brutally attacking them. On Monday night, a workers' protest rally took place after Iftar, and a number of protesters were arrested. The number of recent detainees in the strike of Ahvaz steel workers in recent days has reached at least 60.
Ahvaz Steel, with 54 years of experience, is a large manufacturer of rolling products with a capacity of three thousand specialized workforce. This huge industrial complex was privatized to government agents in 2009, under the pretext of privatization, and was handed over to the National Bank two years later, following a massive 3 billion tomans embezzlement. After the embezzlement of 400 million tomans from the property of the complex, the National Bank also auctioned it in March 2016. As a result, astronomical plunder and catastrophic economic policies of the regime have stopped the production of Ahvaz steel and the deprivation and unemployment of its workers.
The Iranian Resistance salutes the striking workers and condemns these arbitrary arrests, and calls on the general public, especially the brave young people and the hard workers of Khuzestan, to stand in solidarity with the strikers, and calls on the international human rights and labor rights bodies to condemn the suppressive and anti-labor policies of the clerical regime and to take action to immediately and unconditionally release the detainees.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
June 12, 2018