October 8, 2010
Workers at two plants in southern Iran went on strike this week to demand unpaid wages, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda reports.
An employee at Kaghaz Pars Haftapeh, a paper mill in southwestern Iran, told RFE/RL on October 7 on condition of anonymity that workers had not been paid for three months.
“Our production remains at a normal level, we produce and distribute paper, but we don’t receive our salaries,” he said. “I don’t know where the money is going.”
He added that “the plant’s retired workers have not received their pensions since last year — they live in absolute poverty.”
A similar situation with unpaid wages has reportedly arisen at several plants in the southern port city of Asaluyeh, a key industrial hub. Workers at a petrochemical plant in Asaluyeh also went on strike this week to demand back wages be paid.
A worker at the petrochemical plant told RFE/RL that Iran was feeling the impact of international sanctions against it because of its controversial nuclear program.
“The companies here have financial problems and difficulties securing components as a result of the international sanctions,” he said.
He added that before starting to strike the workers warned the company’s management, which then promised to pay the wage arrears.
“They promised many times to pay us, but those were all false promises,” he said.
The Iranian Labor News Agency reported that workers at the Ghue vegetable-oil plant in Tehran gathered in front of the parliament on October 6 amid fears they may be laid off or not paid.