Iran: Protests by Ahwaz SteelWorkers

Steelworkers Protest

Steelworkers in Ahwaz, Khuzestan province staged a large protest on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, for the 23rd consecutive day and marched in the main streets of the city.

Reportedly, the workers who had gathered in front of the governor’s office, were chanting, “Inflation, high prices, answer Rouhani!” challenging Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani on his promises to improve the economic situation.

iran steelworkers protest
Iran – steelworkers protest outside governor’s office.

The workers were also chanting, “We steelworkers will fight against tyranny and injustice.”

The workers of the Ahvaz steel factory have been demanding the payment of their overdue salaries for months. The lives of thousands of workers and their families have been negatively impacted by the deteriorating working conditions at the factory and the corrupt practices of its administrators.

Having received no concrete response from the government, the workers began a new round of strikes and protests three weeks ago.

protest outside governor office.
Protest outside governor’s office.

Regime Tactics

The Iranian regime has tried to dissuade the workers from continuing their protests by different means. The regime security forces arrested several protesters in Shush, also in Khuzestan province, where the workers of Iran’s largest sugar cane factory are holding a similar protest. The regime’s authorities have also issued threats against the protesters and tried to associate them with foreign meddling.

iran people protesting.
Iranian people protesting

Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Protest

In the meantime On Sunday morning, the workers of Haft Tapeh sugar cane factory in Shush, Khuzestan province, returned to the streets for the 28th day to demonstrate and demand their rights. The workers, who have been on strike for four weeks, are demanding their unpaid salaries, job security, the ouster of the private owners of the company and the release of their imprisoned colleagues.

protest in the street
People protest in the street

On Thursday, the mullahs’ regime dispatched the mayor of Shush along with a group of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Basij members under the pretext of college students to the workers’ rally site to claim authorities have come to listen to their demands.

Bus Syndicate Support

In another event, The Greater Tehran Bus Syndicate issued a statement condemning the arrest and beating of Esmaeel Bakhshi, a representative of the protesting Haft Tapeh sugarcane mill workers in Shush, southwest Iran, and demanding his immediate release.

This syndicate is also calling for the closure of all judicial cases raised against other Haft Tapeh employee representatives.

iranian protestors
Iranian protestors

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.