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Iran: Thousands of hungry workers go on strike

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Economics & Business, Human Rights, Labor, Protest

Thousands of unpaid Haft Tapeh sugar cane factory workers in Shoush in the Khuzestan [1] province in Iran started a strike last week. Government sent security forces to repress the workers but strike continues. Several bloggers covered this event, and other related stories of difficult conditions of labor activists.

Kaargar (means worker) says [2][Fa] that thousands of Haft Tapeh sugar cane factory in Khouzestan province started strike on Saturday 27th September. The blog adds that one of the upaid workers’ slogan was “Haftapeh workers are hungry”. The blogger adds the number of workers was around 3000 and they wanted to demonstrate in front of governor's office but police stopped them.

The blogger writes that Haft Tapeh workers have striked before and each time the government gave them promises but never kept them.

Kaargar adds [3][Fa] that:

… on the fourth day of striking and demonstrating, some other workers from Dezfoul sugar can factory who had lost their jobs, joined the Haft Tapeh workers. The workers chanted, ‘our salary is our absolute right’ (the Iranian government's slogan is ‘nuclear energy is our absolute right’).

Workers-1may says [4] that on September 12th, all 5000 workers of Haft Tapeh in a letter announced their decision to start a strike. The blogger says in last months, workers negotiated with Iranian officials, but each time just received empty promises.The blog says that workers also sent a letter to ILO.


Kaargar adds [5] [Fa] that security forces attacked several workers and injured 10 of them. A worker activist, Ferydoun Nikofard, was arrested at his home.

Pejvakezendanyan (means echo of prisoners) says [6] [Fa] that after two days of striking, Iranian intelligence agents started to put pressure on workers and threaten them with severe punishment. The blog says when the workers are not paid and are threatened, it is time that the International Labour Organization [7] should intervene.

Workers in chains

Kargaran (means Workers) informs [8] [Fa] us that Haft Tapeh workers are not the only ones in trouble. The blog has published a video film of Mahmoud Salehi, a labor activist in Kurdistan, who is in prison. He was shown in the video film with handcuffs in hospital!