On the occasion of International Labor Day, workers in Iran once again flooded onto the streets in 20 cities protesting the government’s oppressive and plundering policies. Iranian laborers vented their anger over officials’ unkept promises and flawed performances.

The government’s failures have brought poverty and misery to around 13.78 million workers and their families consisting of at least 55 million of Iran’s population.

“Protest rallies took place in Tehran, Karaj, Mashhad, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Borujerd, Arak, Bojnurd, Khorramabad, Ilam, Ahvaz, Rasht, Sari, Isfahan, Qazvin, Maragheh, Shush, Shahinshahr, Neyshabur, and Qom, from 15 provinces. In Tehran, protesters gathered in front of the regime’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and in other cities, there were gatherings in front of the social security offices,” stated the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

In the capital Tehran, workers held a rally in front of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs despite a heavy presence of the State Security Forces, plainclothes, and intelligence agents affiliated with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

The government had deployed buses and cages to transport detainees and to create a sense of fear among protesters. However, laborers continued protests defying officials’ threats and oppressive measures. Security forces finally arrested dozens of protesters but could not disperse outraged workers.

“Down with the oppressor, hail to the workers,” “Political prisoners must be freed,” “Students, teachers, and workers, unite,” “Enough is enough, both the parliament and the government are deceiving the nation,” “Shame on this insolent government,” “We will not vote anymore, we have heard enough lies,” “Workers will die, but will never accept humiliation,” protesters chanted.

Furthermore, retirees and pensioners affiliated with the Social Security Organization joined laborers in many cities showing their solidarity with impoverished workers. Workers in Haft-Tappeh, Khuzestan province, carried a banner, writing, “Happy workers day, a day for alliance and solidarity among workers across the globe for being free from sufferings.”

In Mashhad, the capital of the northeastern province of Razavi Khorasan, workers and retirees gathered in front of the Social Security Organization’s local office, chanting, “Workers, unite, unite.”

In the working city of Arak, the capital of Markazi province, workers along with retirees took to the streets venting their anger over the government’s economic failures. In recent months, workers of HEPCO staged several gatherings at the HEPCO site and even in front of the Parliament (Majlis) urging officials to aid the company to resume its activities. However, neither the government nor Majlis pays attention to workers’ demands and difficulties.

“Hail to Iran’s workers who defied repressive measures and held their Labor Day protests. They expressed detestation of the clerical regime of ‘plunderers and enemies of workers,’” said NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi, urging, “all advocates of workers’ rights to take immediate action to release the arrested workers.”