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Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Workers Protest Injustice in Iran

Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane workers struggle to fill their food baskets while Iranian authorities are grappling to gain more economic privileges

From mid-April, the mullahs’ regime pushed millions of Iranian workers back to work despite many areas of the country having yet to pass the coronavirus peak.

Iranian leaders practically left low and middle-income segments of the society to opt between contracting the disease or death from starvation.

Eventually, workers were compelled to return to contaminated workplaces with the coronavirus. However, the state-backed owners and managers of companies avoid giving minimum wage to workers. In this respect, labor protests have begun once again in different cities.

In oil-rich Khuzestan province, poor workers of the Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Company launched an ongoing strike. For many years, Haft-Tappeh workers criticized the company owners for their arrears. However, they grasped that the owners’ unjust behavior is impossible without being supported by the influential segments of power.

 

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Iran’s Laborer’s Victims of the Regime

 

The state-backed employers refuse to pay workers’ salaries while the adopted payment merely covers 11 days of working families’ supplies per month in the best-case scenario.

In late May, after months of arguments, officials finally accepted raising the workers’ monthly wages from $114 to $146. Simultaneously, the mullahs pay at least $1,500 to each foreign combatant who kills Syrian protesters to maintain Bashar al-Assad in power.

Furthermore, since June 14, Haft-Tappeh workers launched a strike to protest the corrupt managing board of the company and announce their protest against the authorities’ inability and indifference. The workers declared that they would continue their strike until achieving the following demands:

 - Paying the workers’ arrears and renewing their insurance booklets

- Returning fired laborers to work

- Arresting and dismissal of the director-manager of the company Omid Assadbeigi

- Delivering the factory’s embezzled and stolen wealth back to workers

Over their dire conditions, Haft-Tappeh workers told moving narratives. “I am borrowing money to purchase some bread to feed my family merely. Bakers do not give us bread anymore. I went to a bakery and wept for some bread. However, I am ashamed to go there once again,” a worker said.

“These workers come here from faraway places to work. They do not have money for gasoline. They do not have money to eat something,” another worker explained the condition of workers who generally reside in slums.

“Workers are dying but without salary and benefit. Their salaries have been delayed for nearly three months. However, they work hard hoping to receive their salary,” another worker said.

Notably, Iranian working families met breathtaking results of the coronavirus crisis. In recent months, many workers have lost their jobs. The government-linked expert and statistical centers predict nearly 4.8 million Iranians may become unemployed during the coming months. Moreover, many Iranian families experience tough livelihood conditions due to the rising poverty line.

 

Read More:

Iran: Mullahs’ Concerns About the Level of Society’s Toleration

 

On the other hand, the regime has increased the prices of essential supplies such as electricity, bread, eggs, rice, and urban services. This status quo has forced some poor families to sell their babies, body organs, and search for garbage bins and landfills. Additionally, some low-income parents compel their children to go to work, leading to a new wave of dropout students in the country.

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