✻ Continuing Coverage on Strikes and Labor Protests in Iran: August 5th thru August 31st

By The Free Iranian Staff
This is The Free Iranian’s ongoing coverage of Iran’s national workers uprising;  for all previous reports please click here. 


August 5: Teachers in various Iranian cities protested today, demanding the release of their colleagues who’ve been arrested at various strikes and protests over the last several months, and continuing their call for a fair and liveable wage.

August 6: Nasrin Javadi, one of the founders of the Retirees Union, and a member of the central committee of the Free Trade Union Federation of Iran, went on trial today in Tehran. She had been arrested during the May 1st protests.

Nasrin Javadi

August 7: The Alavijeh Steel Factory in Esfahan has decreased its production, and begun to fire workers. Those remaining on the job are restless, and wondering who will be next to lose their position.

August 8: The regime announced today that Social Security pensions would be not be raised for another three years, at least, due to the heavy debts of the Social Security Organization. Pensioners responded with ire, as they have been protesting for higher pensions for over a year and a half, because the current levels are far below Iran’s poverty line. Retirees Union representatives complained that the Organization did not allow any public input or hearings regarding their decision, and that they refuse to accept it.

August 9: The national association of calcium phosphate manufacturers announced the closing of 47 calcium processing factories today, with 7,000 workers losing their jobs as a result. Mohsen Sa’eedian, the association’s secretary, stated that the closings were caused by the regime’s policy of purchasing calcium from abroad, rather than supporting domestic Iranian mineral production.

Gholam-Reza Sharafi, a member of the energy committee of the Islamic Parliament (Majles) stated today that the Abadan oil refinery is operating far below its normal capacity, and with a much-reduced workforce. The refinery has been a scene of recurrent protests over the past few months, as the workers who remain on the job haven’t been paid.

August 11: Mohsen Salehi, the regime’s deputy minister of industry, mines and trade stated today that over the course of this year, 9,850 factories have closed and become bankrupt.

August 13: Seven former employees of the Haft Tappeh sugar agrobusiness complex in Shush, who had been detained since the IRGC forcibly suppressed their strike last November, were found guilty today of “disturbing public order, participating in an illegal strike, and disrupting corporate activity.” They were each sentenced to eight months in prison, which was suspended, and to be whipped 30 lashes. 10 more workers will be tried tomorrow

Marzieh Amiri, a journalist arrested on May 1st for covering the labor protests of that day, went on trial today in Tehran. She has been detained since her arrest and denied bail, despite suffering from severe epilepsy.

Marzieh Amiri

August 20: Nasrin Javadi was sentenced today to seven years imprisonment and 74 lashes.

August 22: Iran’s three largest agricultural workers unions sent an open letter today to the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Trade, in protest against the ministry’s recent increase of the price of wheat by 150%. The letter stated, among other things, that the price of wheat in Iran is now 50% above the world average, and that if it is not lowered, farmers will be unable to feed their livestock.

August 24: In Arak, employees of HEPCO, the largest heavy equipment manufacturer in the Middle East, went on strike today after not being paid in five months. The workers believe that HEPCO’s CEO has been embezzling from the company, and is about to flee Iran with his ill-gotten gains. The factory had recently been privatized.

Additionally in Arak, temporary workers of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting protested today outside their workplace, saying that they were being paid below the legal minimum wage. They are also demanding employment contracts and health insurance benefits.

In Fasa, in Fars province, employees of the Fasa Sugar Cube factory protested outside the complex today, saying they haven’t been paid in over a month.


Fasa Labors


In Ahvaz, employees of the Rehabilitation and Maintenance Petrochemical Company protested outside the Khuzestan provincial governor’s office demanding that he intercede and help them recover the six months of overdue wages that they haven’t been paid.

Marzieh Amiri was sentenced today to 10 and a half years in prison and 147 lashes.

A study released by the Ministry of Labor disclosed that 130,400 workers in Iran, across 1,193 companies, are not being paid. A further 1,262 companies are on the brink of bankruptcy. Considering the regime’s habit of understating their shortcomings, the reality of the situation might even worse than what these statistics show.

August 26: Retirees who haven’t received their Social Security pensions, together with teachers, protested in Tehran today, outside the Ministry of Labor, holding signs that read “They use Islam to persecute the people,” “Workers and teachers should not be detained,” “Leave Syria and think of us,” and “Imprisoned teachers must be released.”


Teachers and retirees also protested in Esfahan. There, the signs read “Income, dignity, and health are our inalienable rights,” “We will not be silent until we get our rights,” “Raise teachers wages above the poverty line,” “No to corruption and dishonor; this is the people’s call,” and “the enemy’s right here, they lie when they say it’s the US.” The IRGC forcibly suppressed the Esfahan protest and arrested several demonstrators.

Nine more workers from Haft Tappeh, who had been arrested in November, were sentenced today to eight months suspended prison terms, and 30 lashes.

August 27: Members of the Tehran Electrical Workers Union protested today outside the offices of the Ministry of Labor. 1,970 workers who had been promised parcels of land as part of their retirement packages, that they paid into, have not been given the land they are due.

Also, in Tehran, workers at the Farabi Petrochemical company went on strike in protests over twelve of their colleagues having been fired for expressing their opposition to the regime’s labor policies.

In Tabriz, 500 retired employees of the West Azarbaijian Telecom corporation who haven’t received their pensions protested outside the company’s headquarters.

August 28: The strike at Hepco in Arak continues for the fifth straight day. Today, workers blocked the railroad tracks by sitting on them, a common means of civil disobedience Iranian workers employ to raise public awareness of their grievances.



August 31: Atefeh Ranghiz, another worker who was arrested at the May 1st demonstration, was sentenced today to 11 years imprisonment and 74 lashes, along with Rasoul Taleb Moghadam, a member of the Tehran Bus Drivers Union. As of now, 21 people have been convicted of crimes against the state for their participation in the May Day protests.

Atefeh Ranghiz
Rasoul Taleb Moghadam
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