Workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz held a large rally on Sunday, January 28, to reiterate their demands and protest the regime’s lack of attention to their needs.
The rally, which was held in front of the Khuzestan Governorate, Ahvaz Governorate, and the central building of the local branch of Bank-e Melli (National Bank) was the sixth consecutive day of the protests.
The protesters chanted, “If our problems are not solved, there will be upheaval in Ahvaz” and “We haven’t seen justice, we won’t vote anymore.” The protest rally comes as the regime is leading widespread efforts to encourage the population to vote in its sham parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 1, 2024.
In the past year, the protest rallies of the steelworkers of Ahvaz have been constantly increasing. The workers are protesting poor working conditions, uncertain contract statuses, and bad management. In response to the workers’ demands, regime authorities have some fired workers and threatened others with layoffs, fines and corporal punishments.
On September 27, 2023, the regime’s judiciary announced that it had sentenced 17 protesting INSIG workers to flogging and imprisonment or fines. However, the workers continue their protests.
At the same time, contract oil workers in Gachsaran also held protest rallies on Sunday. The workers demand reforms to their work status, justice in payment of wages and job benefits, and the elimination of middlemen contractors who are taking a cut from their wages.
And in Chabahar, the workers of the Makran Desalination Project held a rally as regime authorities continue to delay their unpaid wages.
In Hamedan, workers of Hegmataneh Petrochemical Company held the second day of their rally, protesting three-months-delayed wages.
In Gachsaran, oil sector workers held a large protest rally, demanding better working conditions, implementation of job classification laws, higher wages, and other basic needs.
In Ahvaz and Shush, retirees and pensioners of the Social Security Organization resumed their weekly protest rallies, reiterating their demands for higher pensions. According to the regime’s own laws, the pensions of retirees must be adjusted according to economic conditions. But despite the soaring costs of living, the regime refrains from increasing pensions, which is adding to the pressure retirees are enduring in their lives.
On Saturday, January 27, contract workers of the South Pars Gas Field in different cities held protest rallies as the regime continues to ignore their demands for proper job classification and better working conditions. These protests have been repeating in different cities in southern Iran as regime authorities continue to ignore the demands of these hard-working workers.