On August 28 workers of the Chahar-gonbad Copper Complex of Sirjan in central Iran put up a large banner at the site entrance written: “Workers of this copper complex willing to sell kidneys due to poverty.”
“We haven’t received our paychecks for the past two months,” said a workers’ representative. “We also haven’t received our pensions from months before. Our wages are very low, only receiving the minimum wage assigned by the Labor Department. Even this very low wage is only given to us once every two or three months. During the past two years they have decreased our pensions. They first decreased the overtime pay. Then they decreased the workers’ groups in order to lessen our rights. And now we are here, barely making ends meet. These workers are tenants and in debt. When they don’t receive their paychecks they literally cannot manage their daily lives. They haven’t been paid for the past two months and are out of money. In such circumstances they have decided to provide their mobile phone numbers to offer their kidneys for sale.” (State-run Sharq daily – August 28, 2017)
The response provided by the regime’s officials has been nothing but neglect and ridiculing the workers.
“This banner, placed at the company entrance, is nothing serious. The workers are just joking,” said Hamed Hadiyan, head of the Sirjan Labor Department.
The conditions of these workers is just an example of the horrifying scope of how millions of workers in Iran are being taken advantage and robbed. The Revolutionary Guards and institutions owned by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei mainly own these production units.
Poverty and general deprivation of most of Iran’s workers and their families, numbering at over 40 million people according to state statistics (semi-official ISNA news agency – 7 December 2016) is a disgrace for the inhumane mullahs’ regime of Iran.
According to state media, Iran’s workers enjoy no legal protection and more than 90% of them have part-time contracts (Shahrvand, August 27).
When workers protest conditions outside of their worksite, they are summoned by the regime’s judiciary, arrested and fired from work. When protests are held inside the worksite, such as the Agh Darre miners, they are lashed and fined on charges of “disrupting order and preventing production.”
Iran’s workers are living in such disastrous conditions while the country’s wealth is wasted on exporting terrorism and warmongering in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other parts of the globe, or Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions. Iran’s national wealth is also plundered in huge numbers by senior regime officials and their family members.
The NCRI Labor Committee calls on all labor syndicates across the globe, and international and regional labor unions to support Iran’s workers and condemn this regime’s repressive measures. This Committee also calls on the International Labor Organization to dispatch a special fact-finding commission to probe into the conditions of Iran’s workers and designate the Iranian regime as a violator of labor rights.
National Council of Resistance of Iran
August 29, 2017