International Labor Day – A brief look at the situation in Iran

Exclusive to PMOI/MEK, April 26, 2018 – As the world prepares to mark International Labor Day; the real situation inside Iran has unfortunately gone gravely neglected. Poverty is spreading at an alarming rate and the 2017/2018 uprising sounded alarm bells for the ruling regime.

“Members of the High Labor Council have agreed to a 19% increase in workers’ monthly wages for the (2018) fiscal year. This is an increase from 9.3 million rials ($220) to 11.1 million rials ($265),” according to Iran’s officials IRNA news agency. This is equal to merely one fourth of the country’s poverty line.

“Based on precise and scientific calculations, the utter poverty line for an urban family of four is around 40 million rials ($950) a month. Accordingly, 33% of the country’s population – meaning 26 million people, are living in utter poverty and 6% are living under the ‘hunger line,’” according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

“Five construction workers lose their lives each day in Iran,” said the Vice President of Iran’s Construction Workers Association in a recent interview with the semi-officials Tasnim news agency, said to be associated to the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force.

Many workers across Iran have not received their paychecks on time and their numbers have increased nine-fold in the past year alone. Others, especially construction workers, are deprived of any insurance.

All this is while Iran’s Labor Minister says with each passing minute five individuals enter the country’s workforce, adding 800,000 jobs must be added each year to provide for the job market demand. Iran’s economy dilemmas are increasing as each hour 300 people enter the growing unemployment populace.

Undeniable is the fact that Iran’s regime imposes atrocious labor policies, plundering people’s savings and imposing the utmost restrictions. The vast scope of protests staged by workers across the country is an indication to how this branch of society is under systematic oppression and increasing hardships.

These protests, increasing with each passing year, are staged when these workers are left with no choice but to clench their fists. Labor protests include rallies against the mullahs’ policies, the closure of various factories/production units, not receiving their monthly paychecks for a few months and in some cases a year or more, protesting the privatization of production factories, having no medical insurance and labor pensions under harsh conditions, workers being fired and authorities even resorting to child labor.

Iran’s labor protests reached their climax in late December 2017 despite drastic crackdown measures. Iran’s regime is comprehending the fact that this resembles a major potential of protests erupting and growing out of control.

From March 2017 to March 2018, 1,948 labor protests were registered in 60 cities across Iran. This crunches down to 162 protests each month and at least five such rallies each day.

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This movement is gaining momentum as all worksites bear the potential of becoming a scene of anti-government protests and rallies.

The day when Iran’s army of angry workers stage protests, once again shaking the very pillars of this ruling regime, is very near.

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