Haft-Tapeh workers continue strike
Yesterday for the 5th consecutive day, workers of Haft-Tapeh Sugarcane Factory Mill, despite Iranian regime officials’ warnings, staged a gathering outside of the plant protesting to their fellow workers firing. They demand the unconditional return to work of all their colleagues. They carried signs reading: “We strongly condemn “all violations of workers’ rights.”
Haft-Tapeh’s human resources manager had published a letter terminating several of the company’s workers, on Sunday.
Firing workers opened an old wound since the company’s labor union has been on a collision course with the mullahs’ regime since 2015 over the company’s privatization which simply meant turning over one of Iran’s thriving industries to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) top brass.
Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of the regime’s Majlis (parliament) agrees that Haft-Tapeh workers hate the regime and its policies toward the factory. On Wednesday he said: “Now the country is faced with problems which are deeply rooted in misguided polices and workers of Haft-Tapeh and Hepco companies are paying for them.”
He admits that the regime is incapable of solving the workers’ problems in Iran. Sadeghi then lashes out at the government and puts the blame squarely on Hassan Rouhani’s government for helping form a new oligarchical class in the society. Sadeghi talks as if he is not part of the same corrupt regime.
Haft-Tapeh Sugarcane Mill Company has had a bumpy relationship with the mullahs’ regime. Once the biggest Middle East sugar factory now is on the brink of virtual bankruptcy. At its early days it had the largest trade union amongst Iran’s growing labor organizations in the country. Haft-Tapeh once had 5000 employees with its own sugarcane fields and a huge paper factory next to it for processing the bagasse.
The Sugar Cane Mill was once a source of national pride, but since it was privatized in 2015, it has been struggling financially.
It was built on a 2-hectare area over half a century ago. It is the only factory of its kind in Iran. The mill was lucrative before it was sold to the private sector in 2015. It was sold to the private sector for a down payment of roughly two million dollars, and it is unclear if any further payments have been made. But what is clear is that the privatized company accrued large debts of over $90 million in 2017.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said he believes the unrest among the workers is a “foreign plot” to overthrow the regime. When he addressed to a gathering about workers on February 5th, last year Khamenei said, “One of the major activities of our enemies has been to create a recession and obstacles in our factories and among our labor groups — particularly the big ones — so they can provoke the workers,” in one of his shortest speeches ever.
As the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has maintained throughout the life of the mullahs’ regime workers problems and all other problems in Iran will be solved after its overthrow. MEK’s Resistance Units and Resistance Councils with the help of Iranian people including the deprived workers will deal with the final blow to the regime.