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Iran: Sixth Day of Ahvaz Steelworkers Strike and Their Demonstration Outside Khuzestan Governorate

iran ahvaz workers protest 28012024 (1)
28 January 2024 – Large demonstration of steelworkers in the city of Ahvaz

NCRI logoState-run media: According to official statistics, the price of food items has doubled in one year, the wages of most workers are below 100 million rials ($237), and the cost of a livelihood basket is 300 million rials ($711)

Today, Sunday, January 28, workers of the Ahvaz Industrial Group of Steel gathered in the central streets of Ahvaz on their sixth day of strike in protest against the plundering of their rights and the regime’s indifference to their demands. They chanted slogans such as “Our enemy is here, they lie it is the U.S.,” “We did not see justice, we will not vote anymore,” “If our problem is not solved, Ahvaz will be in chaos,” and “Citizens, be aware, we are workers, not thugs.” They gathered outside the governorate building and marched towards the Ahvaz governorate and the building of Bank Melli, which owns the factory. The strikers, who have shut down the factory’s production line since Thursday, January 24, also marched from the factory to the governorate and then to the provincial governorate on January 27.

The Iranian National Industrial Group of Steel, which has 3,000 employees, was transferred to the regime’s Bank Melli in 2011 after the disclosure of a 30 billion rial embezzlement of regime-affiliated capitalists. This bank, which is also effectively controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), plunders and suppresses workers in the most severe manner. For this reason, the workers have demanded the eviction of Bank Melli.

In December and January of this year, workers took to the streets to protest the non-implementation of the occupational classification scheme and the low wages, but the employers suspended and banned 21 workers. In protest against this repressive action, the workers stopped five production lines of the factory and demanded the eviction of Bank Melli. In July 2023, employers banned six workers and the regime’s court sentenced 17 workers to flogging and imprisonment.

Today, retirees of the Nayyer Pars company in Tehran, retired workers in Ahvaz, Shush, and Haft Tappeh, workers of the Makran desalination project in Chabahar, retirees of steel factory in Isfahan, a number of workers employed in the oil refineries of the South Pars region of Bushehr, employees of the Hagmataneh Petrochemicals in Hamadan, workers of the Ahvaz Oil and Gas Exploitation Company, and workers of the Falat Qarreh Oil Company in the Siri region also held protest rallies in protest of poverty and low wages. Retirees of a steel factory in Isfahan chanted slogans such as “We did not see justice, we will not vote for the thieves.”

The government website Eghtesad 24 wrote on December 21, 2023: “In a situation where the cost of the livelihood basket is 300 million rials per month, according to experts, the wages of most workers, even with benefits, do not reach 100 million rials.” The government media Fardaeye Eghtesad wrote on January 3: “Official inflation data show that the cost of people’s tables has increased by more than 100% in the past year; food items in December, according to the Central Statistics Organization of Iran, have more than doubled in price.”

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

28 January 2024