By INU Staff
INU -According to Iranian state news agencies, workers of Iran Telecommunication Industries (ITI) in Shiraz, southern Iran, have staged a sit-in in front of their factory to protest delayed payments.
Tasnim News Agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Qods Force, reported on May 25 that these factory’s workers are protesting for back pay, some of which dates to as long ago as 2006.
Hashem Shamshiri, a representative for the laborers, stated that “during these years, no matter how much we cry out for our rightful and lawful demands, no one hears us out,” Tasnim reported.
The ITI factory in Shiraz was amongst factories that faced problems once it was transferred to the private sector. Its problems became particularly evident after 2006 and ultimately led to the complete closure of the factory.
Tasnim reported on April 30 that despite steady follow up by the workers, still nothing has been done for them. “A number of the workers are hospitalized and need a large sum of money for kidney or liver transplants, but they have received no assistance and they are unable to shoulder the medical expenses,” the report said.
Shamshiri noted that without taking into account inflation or associated losses, these factory workers’ unpaid wages amount to 30 billion tomans (nearly ten million dollars). If this number is adjusted to reflect today’s prices, the amount would be three times higher. Shamshiri called for payment to workers based on today’s prices.
The workers’ 10-year struggle to recoup their wages reflects a broader situation of thievery and embezzlement inside the regime. Member of Parliament Ahmad Tavakoli commented upon the situation on April 9, saying to his fellow MPs: “The Supreme National Security Council approved legislation that called for a $5.2 billion payment to import raw material, medicine and fertilizers with no interest rate over six months. Note that the money had to be returned in six months, but the Jahad Sabz company has just returned 45 billion of the $152 billion that it had received.”