On May 1, the International Workers’ Day, the state-run Jamaran website wrote an article about the devastating economic situation that Iran finds itself in after over 40 years of the mullahs’ rule, where they were surprisingly honest about the “recent decade’s economic crisis” and “40 years of consecutive inflation” which have “destroyed Iran’s middle class”.
The article states that regime officials “created fake state-run unions” after the revolution and banned independent unions, which left the workers of Iran defenseless, with no one to protect their rights. Essentially, this led to a major decrease in the purchasing power of the workers and depleted their share of the national wealth.
The Jamaran website wrote: “If a worker, before the revolution, could purchase a house in 24-year installments, now in 2020, they must pay 137 years of installments to have a house. If in 1979, a worker was able to purchase a Peykan automobile by only saving 13 months of their income, now, in 2020, they can purchase a Perayd automobile by saving 46 months of their income. If in 1979 each worker was able to purchase 74 kg of meat with only one month of their income, now they can purchase only 17 kg of meat with a month’s income. And if in 1979, they were able to use their salary to purchase 12 grams of gold, now they can use their monthly wage to purchase 3.5 grams of gold.”
Now, one might wonder how it is possible that Iranians today can only afford about a quarter of what they could before the 1979 revolution when their wages have increased 900 times.
The answer is that the cost of other goods has risen considerably more. The cost of food, fuel, and cars is about 3000 times more expensive, house prices 6,000 times, and currency prices 10,000 times.
Not to mention the fact that the 5 million workers that have unofficial employment are actually working for much less than minimum wage and do not receive any sort of insurance and social welfare benefits.
The Jamaran website suggests that this played a major role in the November 2019 uprising over the tripling of fuel prices, which they say was led by the “unemployed children of these workers”
It asked: “What choice does a government with zero oil revenue and a 50% budget deficit have other than printing banknotes? And this means a higher inflation rate and workers’ table shrinking, making the next protesting force more explosive. Will anyone listen? Is there a will to bring the country out of this bone-breaking deadlock?”