Protests Continue to Erupt Across Iran, Highlighting the Country’s Volatile State
Today, Iran is afflicted by systemic corruption, and state officials’ disregard for socio-economic demands is wreaking havoc on society and fuelling more radical dynamics. A number of workers at the Lorestan Agro-Industrial Complex held a rally on April 6 to protest what they called contract changes, according to the state-run IRIB news agency. Contrary to the Supreme Labor Council’s recent decision to raise the minimum wage of workers in the Persian calendar’s new year, the employers are now imposing new terms that are more exploitative and unfair, according to the protesting workers. Workers have been given the option of accepting the new terms or leaving the job.
On April 6, about 60 Behbahan Municipality employees resigned in protest of officials’ refusal to pay their wages, and a protest rally was held in Behbahan Red Crescent Square. Families of students in Rasht, Gilan Province, northern Iran, held a rally in front of the Gilan General Directorate of Education to protest the state’s mandatory order to resume in-person education. In addition, a group of parents of students in Bandar Abbas protested in front of one of the city’s schools, calling for the end of in-person classes and the continuation of their children’s home-schooling.
According to the ISNA state news agency, a group of workers from Bojnourd Municipality protested their job and contract status in front of the governorate of North Khorasan on Wednesday, April 6. The employment contracts of these workers have been affected, per the governor of Bojnourd, since the province’s wastewater organization was abolished. Workers are concerned about their job security, claiming that even if hired by a private contractor, they would lose their rights and be forced to work for minimum wage.
On the same day, workers of Chavar Ilam Petrochemical company gathered in front of the governor’s office to protest their unfair working conditions, the state-run ILNA news agency reported. Even though they work in extremely difficult conditions, sometimes in three shifts, the protestors claim they are denied an official contract with proper protections and rights.
On the outskirts of Pardis city in Tehran province, a group of landowners held a rally in front of the Administrative Court of Justice on Wednesday, April 6. The Pardis Development Company is allegedly attempting to seize the protestors’ lands, despite the fact that the owners have a document from the State Registration Organization proving their ownership. The landowners have held protest rallies on multiple occasions but to no avail.
Rasoul Badaghi and Hamid Ghandi, members of the Islamshahr Teachers’ Union, were tried in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, and a group of teachers and union activists gathered in front of the State Revolutionary Court in Tehran.
Residents of Umm al-Kharjin village in the western suburbs of Khorramshahr in Khuzestan province, southern Iran, gathered in front of the MP’s office to protest unemployment, according to the state-run Javan news agency. Despite being adjacent to the Karun River, these villagers are unable to use the water for cultivation due to the state’s prohibition of summer cultivation, putting their crops at risk. Locals should have been prioritized for employment at the Arvandan oil and gas fields near their village, as per the protestors, but their offspring are deprived of any local opportunity.
On Tuesday, April 5, retired Telecommunication Company employees protested the officials’ refusal to pay their arrears in the cities of Semnan, Kermanshah, Sirjan, Tehran, Rasht, Isfahan, Ardabil, Zanjan, Ahvaz, Shahrekord, and Yazd.
On April 5, employees of the Rasht Municipality staged a protest in front of the Gilan Governor’s Office, protesting benefit cuts and unfair working conditions.