Workers of the Ahwaz Steel Factory continued their ongoing strike for the sixth consecutive day on Wednesday chanting slogans against the Iranian regime.
The workers took the streets in Ahwaz and protested in front of the governorate and chanted slogans like “We will not leave from here, until we receive our rights” and cried out that “no nation has seen this much injustice”.
Another slogan chanted on Wednesday focused on the regime saying that Tehran “chant for Imam Hossein, but pride themselves in thieving,” in references of using the third Shia Imam for the government’s own profit.
Several reports suggested that the protesters continued their march and blocked the streets leading up to the governorate.
The steel workers closed the main gate of the factory on Tuesday and blocked the arrival and entrance of Eshaq Jahangiri, the first vice president of Hassan Rouhani’s government.
The last round of protests by the Ahwaz steel workers came in June when more than 50 workers were detained by security forces. They were demanding three months of their unpaid wages.
According to one labor unionist, four of the detainees were brutally beaten after being taken to a detention center for suspects arrested for drug offenses.
“One of the workers was beaten to the extent that he suffered a hemorrhage, but the authorities did not make an effort to transfer him to a medical facility,” the Free Workers Union of Iran said at the time.
According to the FWU, another detainee was shot with a taser gun while in custody.
Reports indicate that almost all of the detained workers were later released on bail after other workers demonstrated for their release.
The Ahwaz Steel Factory is national steel industry group of Iran with 54 years of experience. It has been a major manufacturer of craft products with a capacity of more than 3,000 specialist labor force. The production of this economic pole of the country has fallen to 10 percent as a result of the devastating policies of the mullahs’ regime and the plundering of its assets by the Revolutionary Guards, and workers have been deprived of their low wages and are forced to strike every few months to get their wages.
Earlier this February, they protested against the non-payment of their three months’ salary and benefits, and the failure to fulfill the employer’s false promises.
In the meantime Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers continued their strike for the 10th consecutive day, holding their rally outside the provincial governor’s office in shush city, the protesting workers were chanting slogans, such as “hail to the workers, down with dictator”.
“The company officials are constantly providing promises, yet always failing to deliver,” one female worker said.
Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate, specializing in political and economic issues relating to Iran and the Middle East. @hassan_mahmou1