Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani spoke as officials were still failing to resolve the problems that led to a weeks-long strike at a major sugar factory in western Iran and nationwide protests over rising living costs.
However, he threatened workers over allowing their protests to be hijacked by the “enemy”, who are causing “disorder” in the country; a likely reference to Iranian Resistance group the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who are helping to organise the protests.
According to the judiciary’s news agency Mizan Online, Larijani said: “Workers should not allow their demands to become an excuse and an instrument for the enemy and creation of disorder in the country.”
He then said that the Regime must “immediately” address the problems of workers who are struggling to make ends meet, but dismissed the workers’ peaceful protest as “contrary to public order”.
He said: “The demands of dear workers must be met in a rational atmosphere… with the involvement of the government and the judiciary branch. [But] demands will never be met by turmoil, crisis and actions contrary to public order.”
On Monday, this round of a strike by workers at the Haft Tapeh sugar factory in Shush, a city in Khuzestan province, entered its 22nd day. The workers are protesting the late payment of their salaries, the arrest of their fellow strikers on November 18, and alleged criminal activity by managers, which has occurred since the factory was privatized in 2016.
The business employs around 4,000 people, but about 2,700 of them have been subject to some sort of salary arrears.
On Monday, the Regime’s ILNA news agency reported that workers had confirmed that had finally been paid their salaries for the period August 23 to 22 September and that three-quarters of the workers arrested on November 18 have subsequently been released.
In 2018, Iran has been hit by constant strikes and protests across all sectors including education, mines, transport and the steel industry, mainly outside of the capital, which shows that these growing protests are more likely coming from the Regime’s base.
The fact that the Regime is trying to intimidate workers shows that they are terrified of the power of the people, especially when they are led by the Iranian Resistance.