Iranian workers strike amid economic crisis

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Workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Industrial Complex in the Khuzestan province marked the 48th day of protests on Saturday, as they suffer from overdue wages.

Iranians protest at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Industrial Complex, August, 2020 (photo credit: MOHAMMAD AHANGAR/FARS NEWS AGENCY)

Iranians protest at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Industrial Complex, August, 2020

(photo credit: MOHAMMAD AHANGAR/FARS NEWS AGENCY)

A number of labor strikes began around Iran on Saturday, amid an economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and international sanctions.

In southern Iran, workers striked at the Abadan, Parsian and Qeshm refineries, the Lamerd petrochemical complex and the South Pars oil field, according to Radio Farda.

The workers protested as well demanding their overdue wages and clarity concerning the status of their employers. Many workers have remained on leave for months.

The director of one of the refinery’s where workers are striking told the Iran Labor News Agency that the workers wanted raises and weren’t protesting the unpaid wages.

Workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Industrial Complex in the Khuzestan province marked the 48th day of protests on Saturday, as they also suffer from overdue wages.

The Haft Tappeh workers are demanding immediate payment of three-month overdue wages, the return of fired employees, the renewal of their insurance and the immediate arrest of the company’s CEO and the sentencing of him and the chairman of the company’s board of directors to life imprisonment.

The owners of the Haft Tappeh company are involved in a $1.5 billion FOREX corruption case, according to Radio Farda.

The prosecutor in the case alleged during the trial that Omid Assadbeigi, the CEO of the company, has deliberately withheld wages in an attempt to pressure the court to acquit him, as the workers’ protests and strikes could cause complications for the government.

Iranian MP Alireza Khezrian and two other MPs traveled to the area where Haft Tappeh is located to investigate the issue and prepare a report for the parliament.

During protests in July, Iranian police promised to deal “decisively” with further protests over economic hardship, a day after security forces fired teargas to disperse demonstrators in the southwestern city of Behbahan, Reuters reported

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