Iran’s contract workers went on strike twice since last year. They began their first round of strikes in July 2020, which lasted for a month and a half. The workers threatened that if the regime officials refuse to fulfill their demands, they would resume their strike starting March 2021.
The oil workers ultimately started their second phase of the strike in March 2021. This time, the strike was more widespread than before. They started a campaign known as 10-20, which meant they would work for twenty days and have ten days paid leave and be considered as official workers. This campaign has continued to the day of this writing.
The new wave of strikes extended throughout Iran. Tens of thousands of workers held protests in 114 cities. Now over 40% of workers still continue their strike, and 60% have returned to work. The oil workers’ strike in Iran got wide media coverage worldwide, and many national and international workers’ unions supported the Iranian oil workers’ strike.
“Footage has spread across social media showing construction workers at 60 oil and petrochemical installations, largely in the country’s oil-rich south, walking off their jobs in protest,” AP reported on June 30.
The regime officials, including its former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also warned about the oil workers’ strike consequences.
“I warn all related authorities and officials that disregarding the protests of those who have found all usual forms to express their demands blocked will not carry good consequences,” he said.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the NCRI called on all workers and youth to support the strikers. She also underlined that “Repression and expulsion will intensify the workers and laborers anger against the anti-labor and inhuman regime, and adds to the public’s resolve to overthrow the regime and establish freedom and justice.”
Hail to the striking oil workers and laborers. I urge all workers and youths to support them. So long as the mullahs’ inhuman and anti-worker regime rules #Iran, poverty, high prices, and unemployment will be on the rise. #IranProtests
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) June 22, 2021
It is crucial to understand the workers’ demands, what they have achieved, their current situation, and what will happen in the future. Workers’ general demands include:
– Twenty days of work and ten days off: Since many workers live far from their workplace, they have to sleep at the location where they work. Hence, considering the long journey back home, they are only left with six to four days off.
– Double wages at all levels.
– The salary of a worker should not be less than 12 million Tomans, which considering the ever-rising inflation rate is at the edge of the official poverty level already.
– Return of fired workers during the strike.
– Job security: workers’ contracts should be written, formalized, and guaranteed at least until the end of the project.
– Contractors should be removed from the project, and workers should work for the parent company or Iran’s Oil Company.
– Officials should end the inhumane situation of camps where workers reside while working. Currently, workers are getting enough food to survive and they are treated like slaves. The camps lack any heating and cooling equipment. While workers work hard for 12-13 hours a day, they hardly find a place at the camp to sleep. In most of the refineries and facilities, there are three bathrooms in a dormitory for 100 workers. Most of the camps lack dining facilities. The boots that are given to the workers are only three to four sizes and are basically not appropriate for the workers’ feet. There are no detergents or alcohol at camps. Above all, workers’ salaries are constantly delayed despite these hardships.
The status quo
The regime has appointed managers at Iran’s Oil Company that deprive workers of their basic rights. The government has officially announced that workers should deal with their managers and the contracting companies, not the government. As such it’s refusing to claim responsibility.
Besides, the Iranian regime has tried on many occasions to intimidate or bribe workers to prevent them from continuing their strikes. It has so far been able to force 60% of workers to return to their works. These workers face the same circumstances and are under pressure from their employers, while many are threatened to be fired.
Meanwhile, some official oil workers and employees went on strike.
List of workers in some centers who have joined the strike:
1- Contract workers of Gachsaran Petrochemical
2- Behbahan Bidboland Refinery Phase 2 Shayan Foundation Contracting
3- Civil Engineering of Phase 14 of South Pars, Assaluyeh
4- Bushehr Petrochemical, Elixir of Industry Phase 14
5- South Pars Oil and Gas Companies, Assaluyeh Gas Field
6- Sina Sanat Ahmadpour Company in ASU unit of Khuzestan province, Ahvaz city
7- Workers of “Sadaf” Persian Gulf Petrochemical Company, Tehran
8- Clay and Board oil company of Fars province, Kazerun
9- South Adish Refinery of Kangan Spherical and cylindrical tanks of Karami contracting and Rajan company
10 – Jahan Pars Petrochemical Company, Tehran
11- Satrap Sanat South Pars Company of Bushehr
12- Workers of Sina Qeshm Refining Company
13- Tavanmand Company, phases 22 and 24 of South Pars, Assaluyeh
14- Overhaul workers of Tehran oil refinery
15- Farjud in site 1 of Bushehr
16- Workers of Adish South Refinery in Tehran
17- Pars Phenol Kar and all Pars Phenol Petrochemical Forces of Sina Sanat Company in Assaluyeh
18- Bushehr Petrochemical Site 1 Samsam Sanat Contracting
19- Workers of Tondgovian refinery in Tehran
20- Dena Assaluyeh petrochemical workers
21- Workers of Jahan Pars Assaluyeh Company
22- Contract workers of Payndan company in phase 14 of Assaluyeh
23- Workers of phase 13 of Lidoma South Pars Company in Assaluyeh
24- Workers of phase 13 (Akhtar phase) of South Pars, Assaluyeh
25- Welding workers of Bushehr Petrochemical spherical tanks
26- Arak Machine Building
27- Farab Company project in Bidkhoon Assaluyeh power plant
28- All formal and informal workers of phases 11, 12, 13, and 14 and contract workers of the other 24 phases of Assaluyeh
29- Abadan refinery
30- Workers of phase 13 of Kangan
31- Workers of Bidkhoon Assaluyeh refinery
32- Project workers of EJC Abadan Refinery Company
33- Haji Portehran contract workers
34- Workers of Qeshm Oil Tanks Company
35- Marine operations of Iran Oil Terminals Company, Khark
36- Sepahan Isfahan Cement
37- Employed AGC Company, Abadan Refinery Phase 2
38- ILD Electricity and Instrumentation Company located in Tonbak port of South Pars Assaluyeh
39- Kayhan Pars Ahvaz
40- Padtehran Construction Company
41- Official oil workers in Abadan refinery
42- South Tehran Company located in Mahshahr port
43- Petroleum Company working in Bandar Abbas Oil Company
44- Mobin Sanat Company working in Adish Petro-Refining, Tehran
45- Rajan Company working in Tehran Adish Refinery
46- Employees of Ramin power plant in Ahvaz city
47- Damavand Bushehr Petrochemical
48- Dena Assaluyeh Petrochemical
49- D-Polymer Company in Assaluyeh Petrochemical Industries
50- Butia Steel contract workers in Kerman
51- Contract workers of Sazeh Farafan Qeshm Company
52- Workers of 2 Long Willow projects
53- Overhaul workers in Bushehr province
54- Jahrom Combined Cycle Power Plant Workers
55- Workers of Darya Sahel Jafir Company
56- Radiograph workers of Bidkhoon Assaluyeh power plant
57- Pump workers in Bandar Abbas No. 5
58- Contract workers of Isfahan refinery
59- Contract workers of Jahan Pars Ilam
60- Workers of Pishro Sanat Company in Adish Petro-Refinery, Tehran
61- Isfahan Oil Refinery ODCC workers
62- Gamma Assaluyeh workers
63- Radiograph workers of Nima Radiography Company of Azmoon Steel working in Abadan refinery
64- Pishtazan Aria Radiation Company workers in Abadan 2 refinery
65- Workers of Pishgaman Technologies Pars Radiography Company working in phase 2 of Abadan refinery
66- Workers of Gohar Zamin Company in Sirjan
67- Workers of Sadaf Jahanpars Assaluyeh project
68- Workers of Sazeh Pod Bushehr Company
69- Dehloran NGL3100 gas refinery workers
70- Gamma Jask workers
71- Lordegan Petrochemical workers
72- Parsian Lamerd gas refinery workers
73- Truck drivers of Dehloran Oil Company
74- Andimeshk power plant workers
75- Ardabil Petrochemical Workers Join General Strikes of Ardabil Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Workers
76- Gachsaran Oil Company employees
77- Welding workers working in Bidkhoon Assaluyeh power plant
78- Soltani and Heydari contractors working in Assaluyeh 64-inch line
79- Some workers of Niroo Gostar Minab Hormozgan Company
80- Workers of Darya Sahel Company, Rasht-Stara transmission line
81- Workers of Ahvaz Jafir refinery
82- Welding workers of Shimbar Company working in Tehran Tiran oil transmission pipeline
83- Chabahar Combined Cycle Power Plant Workers Strike Kianpour Forces Chabahar Power Plant Contracting
84- Zahedan 36 inch line
85- Line 48 of Kerman, Asia Haft Sang Kerman Company
86- Welding workers of Darya Sahel Rasht Company and fire drivers of Rasht
87- Firoozabad pump house workers
88- Iraj Faramarzi contract workers
89- Pisa workers in Iranshahr
90- Workers of Darya Sahel Company, Qeshm Line
91- Workers of Behdad Pasargad Fars Mines Company
92- ODCC workers of Abadan refinery
93- Workers of Arsan Tose’e Company, Tehran
94- Workers of Petunia Tehran Company
95- Kangan refinery workers
96- Workers of Avijeh Sanat Toos Company
97- Workers of Keyvan Hafshjan Izeh Khuzestan
98- Farhadi contract welding workers working in Chabahar
99- Workers of Behdad Pasargad Mine Company in Mashhad
100- Workers of the Civil Engineering Group, Sepahan, Isfahan Campus
101- Pouya Installation Company of Pars Isfahan
102- Isfahan Refinery Rugby Company
103- Contracting Elixir of Abadan Refinery Industry
104- Abadan Refinery SCAF Contracting
105- Abad Rahan Pars Bandabbas Company
106- Workers of Bostano power plant of Assaluyeh power installation company
107- Workers of Bostan power plant
It is worth noting that since Iran’s economy is dependent on oil, oil workers’ strikes would significantly impact Iran’s economy. In November 1978, a strike consisting of 37,000 workers at Iran’s oil refineries reduced production from 6 million BPD to about 1.5 million BPD. Hence, Iran’s economy was paralyzed and later collapsed, rendering Shah’s regime unable to fuel its oppression. It should be noted that Iran’s last monarch was not under sanctions. Accordingly, the strikes led to an increase in fuel prices worldwide and caused fuel shortages and long lines at gas stations.
The Iranian regime’s oil export is under sanctions, significantly reducing Iran’s oil export revenue. The oil workers’ strike could further reduce the regime’s revenue, which the mullahs desperately need to fuel their warmongering machine and continue oppressing the Iranian people.