During the four decades of the mullahs’ rule in Iran, the livelihood basket of workers has declined because of the regime’s policies, the increase in costs, and the gap between their income and living expenses.
According to official statistics at the end of 2020, the rate of the workers’ livelihood basket has been announced to be nearly 7 million tomans. But this statistic is far from the reality of the workers’ daily life and does not match it. Because at present the official wage of a worker in Iran is around 2.8 million tomans and the poverty line has reached 10 million tomans.
Therefore, the gap between the income and the monthly expense of a worker is much more than that what is estimated and officially announced by the so-called Supreme Labor Council. The council’s members are people picked from the regime’s officials and are not representing the workers but the government and the employers.
According to official statistics, the gap between the livelihood baskets rate and the workers approved wages is 4.460 million, but this gap is more than 7 million tomans and practically pushed the workers below the absolute poverty line.
About this gap, the state-run daily Bahar News on August 21, 2021, wrote: “Workers’ wages are incompatible with their livelihood basket, so with any cost pressure on the household after wages are set, absolute poverty, such as a tsunami, pulls down more people.”
A member of the so-called Supreme Labor Council, about the dire situation of the workers on August 7, 2021, said: “The costs of the workers’ livelihood basket have reached more than 10 million tomans, and workers’ livelihoods have been lost in unbridled inflation. With unprecedented inflation occurring in all rows of life, the effect of wage increases on workers was virtually wiped out in the first two months of the year. Therefore, there is no need to say what happened to workers’ livelihoods in June, July, and August.” (Kar-o-Karegar daily, August 7, 2021)
In the context of this deplorable situation of the workers, a member of the regime’s Supreme Labor Council, said: “Today, the price of basic goods such as dairy, poultry, eggs and many other materials has multiplied, and what official statistics and authorities say about the livelihoods of people and workers is different from the bitter reality of society.” (Kar-o-Karegar daily, August 7, 2021)
On April 19, 2021, Esmail Zarifi Azad, Secretary of Labor Relations at the Ministry of Labor acknowledged that because of the increase of unbridled price hikes the people and laborers are becoming poorer. He said: “Workers’ salaries have increased by 900 times in the past 40 years.”
But right after that about the price hikes, he added:
- Gasoline price hikes 3000 times.
- Bread price hikes 3000 times.
- Vehicles price hikes 3000 times.
- Housing price hikes 6000 times.
- And the price of golden coins hikes 10000 times.
This is in a situation where the prices of the goods have speeded up and most of them have witnessed an increase of the 100 times.
The protest movements in the past months, especially oil and petrochemical industry workers, should be considered in line with the right seeking of the workers, who have the same demands of other segments of the society, which is paving the path to their freedom from this regime.