❉ UPDATE : The ever-surging nationwide strikes all across Iran

Please click on this link to ISICRC’s November 1st report.


Truck Drivers:

November 2 – The fourth round of truck drivers’ strikes has begun. This time picketers protested the mass detention of their fellow drivers. During the past month, 262 drivers were arrested and remain in prison. The drivers’ original grievances were low wages, high costs of spare parts and truck maintenance, and tire shortages, but the regime labeled picketers as “individuals who spread corruption on earth” and “national security threats,” all of which are punishable by execution.

Abbas Akhoundi, Minister of Roads and Urban Development was fired after he advised the Rouhani administration to give into the drivers’ demands. Mohammad Eslami, who replace Akhoundi, claims he has a plan to stop the strike but has not yet announced the details. A petition has been started to demand the regime free the imprisoned drivers.

Drivers on strike in Mashad

 

November 4th – The truck drivers’ strike continues across 50 Iranian cities as new US sanctions go into effect. The German United Services Trade Union (ver.di) has issued a statement of support, condemning the regime’s threats of executions. “To impose the death penalty on picketers is unthinkable and disgusting for a civilized state,” Andrea Kocsis, Ver.di’s deputy chairperson said. The British United Road Transport Union (URTU) also came out in support of the Iranian drivers.

November 11th – The strike has spread to 70 cities. In a speech, Colonel Hajian, deputy commander of the Qazvin province police, called the strikes anti-revolutionary and incited by foreign enemies. He threatened all those who refused to return to work with severe punishment.

 

Drivers on strike in Bandar Abbas

 

Shopkeepers:

November 7th – Shopkeepers in Tehran, Tabriz, Mashad, Isfahan, Babol, Gorgan, Rudsar, Nurabad, Saghez, and Baneh have closed their stores in protest against rising prices. Carpet sellers are participating in this strike. Police are reportedly trying to force store-owners to open.

Closed stores in Bazar e Bein Al Rahemin, Tehran

 

Closed stores in Shiraz

 

Teachers:

November 8th – The Central Council of Iranian Teachers Unions called for teachers to conduct another two day sit-in strike on the 13th and 14th, since the regime has not done anything to answer teachers demands since their sit-in last month. Teachers are anguished over low salaries, dilapidated school infrastructure due to low state education expenditures, the possibility of school privatization, and discrimination against teachers based on their political opinions. A number of teachers who were arrested during the last strike remain detained, and the central council has asked supporters to demand their release over social and foreign media.

November 13th – The strike begins. Per last month’s protests, teachers attended classes but did not conduct lessons. The regime intelligence services attempted to preempt the strike by sending out fake messages from the union central council claiming that the strike had been called off.

Other Strikes:

November 5th – A thousand workers on a Tehran Metro construction project, who have not been paid in six months, went on strike today. The workers also claim that their employer, Sabir Bain Al-Melal (Sabir International), has totally ignored workplace safety as two workers die in accidents during the past month. The workers originally filed a complaint with the judiciary, but after arbitrators proposed they accept only two months’ worth of back wages, they decided to strike until they are paid all they are owed for the six months.

The workers of the Ahvaz plant of the National Steel Industrial Group went on strike today after not having been paid for 3 months. They gathered outside the factory and protested. In an attempt to appease the protesters, Nematinejad, a member of the factory’s board of directors, promised to pay them by the end of the week; the workers who have heard many such promises over the past weeks however, rejected management’s inadequate assurances.

Five hundred workers at the Haft Tappeh Sugar Agribusiness Complex also resumed their strike. The workers are owed several months arrears and had gone on strike several times before. They resumed work on several occasions after being promised they would soon be paid. No one has received any money yet, and the complex managers are worried that the remaining 4,500 employees will soon join the 500 on strike.

November 8th – Workers remain on strike at Haft Tappeh. Esmail Bakhshi, a spokesperson for the sugar complex employees, is alleging that managers are illegally importing and selling sugar on the black market under the Haft Tappeh brand name, pocketing the money, while workers remain unpaid.

Esmail Bakhshi announcing workers grievances

November 10th – Tehran Metro subcontractor employees remain on strike for the third day. Workers are claiming that the Tehran municipal government has regularly paid their employer, Sabir International, yet Sabir has not paid their wages, and workers have said that they are having trouble feeding their families.

Ahvaz plant of the National Steel Industrial Group employees also remain on strike, chanting slogans such as “This nation has never seen this injustice,” “we’ve had enough oppression” and “our tables are empty!”

Ahvaz steel workers on strike

Haft Tappeh workers are on strike for the sixth day. Their spokesperson, Esmail Bakhshi is now saying that some of the factory’s corrupt managers have been arrested. Without mentioning names, Jafar Dolatabadi, Tehran’s prosecutor, announced that the owner of a company in Khuzestan (where Haft Tappeh is located) have been arrested after embezzling $800 million while owing money to the state. Haft Tappeh was privatized in 2007, and sold to two companies named Zeus and Aryak. The cost was 218 billion Tomans (approximately $237,000,000 U.S.) of which only 6 billion was paid at the time and the rest was to be delivered in installments over 18 years. The workers opposed the sale at the time, and since then they have gone on strike approximately 300 times.

November 11th – Two hundred Ahvaz metro project workers went on strike, after not having been paid in 17 months. The workers are employees of a company called Kayson Inc., which has also built infrastructure in Belarus and Venezuela. Kayson has recently claimed to be facing financial problems; 100 workers were let go in July.  

Contract employees at the Bisotun Petrochemical Complex in Kermanshah also went on strike, over not having been paid their promised wages or benefits. The contract employees had gone on hunger strike for the two previous days but managers took no notice. The factory is owned by the Rikhtegaran Brothers, who have been embroiled in multiple corruption scandals and accused of hiding money in foreign banks by Khomeiniist regime authorities.

November 13th – Haft Tappeh workers demonstrated outside the office of Dr. Ghazi, the county administrator of Shoush, displaying an empty table as a metaphor for their plight, chanting “we are hungry, we are not the people of Kufa!” (Kufa being the Imam Ali’s capital). They also held signs demanding that Ghazi orders the bakeries in his province to feed hungry workers.

Ahvaz steel workers demonstrated outside the office of the governor of Khuzestan, chanting “no threats, no prison, they won’t work” and “no judges or officials care about this country!”

Workers chanting “we’re hungry”

Workers at Jahan Vegetable Oil Company in Zanjan also went on strike, due to 10 months unpaid wages. The factory has been claiming financial problems and a number of workers were previously let go.

Sixty six workers at the copper mines in Shahr’eh Babak in Kerman province were arrested after protesting the nonpayment of their wages.