Iran strikes: Workers from oil, gas sector protest against lack of wages

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Iranian workers from various sectors in the country, including the critical oil and gas industries, went on strike on Saturday to protest the non-payment of their wages among other issues.

The strikes took place in various refineries in southern Iran where workers demanded months of arrear payments.

Workers at the Qeshm heavy oil refinery, who work for several different contractors, say they have not been able to settle payment issues on a consistent basis with their employer in recent months.

However, a manager at the refinery told the semi-official ILNA news agency that the workers are only looking for a pay rise and have not had any delays in receiving their payments.

A shot from the Soroosh production plant in Qeshm. (File photo: Reuters)

A shot from the Soroosh production plant in Qeshm. (File photo: Reuters)

 

The Abadan oil refinery located in the southwestern Khuzestan province has also witnessed protests by workers in recent months, and these protests continued on Saturday.

Workers in phases 22 and 24 of South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, also went on strike on Saturday with similar demands. Workers in these phases have gone on strike several times since 2017.

In recent years, non-payment of wages in Iran has been a major problem for workers which has led to them protesting and going on strikes in different parts of the country.

Saturday was day 48 of the Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Company workers’ strike. Three members of parliament travelled to the city of Shush in oil-rich Khuzestan where the company is located on the same day to listen to the workers’ demands, one of the MPs tweeted.

An undated photo of workers from the Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Company with placards that read “our families need money” and “we are starving.” (Twitter: @amirali872712)

An undated photo of workers from the Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Company with placards that read “our families need money” and “we are starving.” (Twitter: @amirali872712)

 

The Sugarcane Company workers’ demands include payment of arrears and the return of ownership of the company to the public sector or to the workers themselves.

The Iranian regime does not tolerate labor protests. Many labor activists and workers including workers from the Sugarcane Company have been arrested and given harsh sentences.

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