The workers installed a banner at the gate of the Char Gonbad Copper complex reading: “Due to financial poverty, a number of employees will sell their kidneys”. They asked potential buyers to call a phone number posted on the banner.

A representative of workers was quoted as saying: “We have not been paid for 2 months; we already are owed benefits from the past; our income is low; our wages are very low; if they want to pay this low wages every two, three months; what is left for the worker?”

He added, “In the past two years, they have reduced our job benefits… they lowered the overtime pay, for example, they changed the daily work hours from 10 hours to 5, later they lowered job groups to lower salaries, and eventually we have reached to the point that we do not even have our daily bread.”

He added: “Some of the workers are tenants, they owe debts. When they were not being paid, they can not afford to pay for their livelihood, now it is two months that they are without income. In these circumstances, they decided to post mobile number to sell their kidneys. They advertised and put it at the company’s entrance and then the people came to take pictures, and it became clear that the workers of the Chahar Gonbad were ready to sell their kidneys to survive.”

An official of the regime, Hamed Hadian, head of labour department in the city of Sirjan, acknowledged that such banner has been installed but shamelessly said: “This ad has been installed at the company’s entrance; but it is satirical, it is not serious. Workers wanted to joke with installing this ad.”

On worker rejected the “joke” nature of the statement of the head of the labour office, and said: “The situation is so dire that they are forced to take action to find a solution to their problem.”

Iranian workers facing difficult living conditions often hold protest against non-payment of salaries and other benefits.

In many cases, protesting workers have been arrested and imprisoned.