On 10 November the workers of Alborz Lastic, the partly privatised tyre factory, protested outside the President's Office in Tehran. Despite the heavy rain and the cold weather around 800 Alborz Lastic workers took part in this protest and chanted slogans continuously. Their placards included the following slogans: "The government should do its duty to solve workers' problems", "Isn't there anyone who can help us?" and "Daddy doesn't have any bread, why?".
Alborz Lastic employs 1300 workers and the protesters, who were representing all of them, were not just demanding the payment of unpaid wages. They also wanted the contracts' situation to be cleared up. One of the workers told the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA): "There are 400 contract workers at the factory whose situation is unclear."
Another worker said: "Alborz Lastic wants to build houses on the land the factory's on, that's why it's wasting time. It plans to tire out the workers and get to its aim. The insurance booklets of many workers have not been renewed for three months, when some of them have an urgent need for medical treatment."
A third worker, who has five children, said: "Unfortunately the newspapers and the media don't cover labour news." He said that some workers are close to retirement. "The company doesn't pay these people's insurance, so they're in an uncertain situation." He added: "They don't give us lunch anymore and have stopped the bus service to and from the factory, so we go to the factory and just sit there."
During the protest the workers' representatives met a Vice President and officials from the President's Office. It has been reported that the representatives are negotiating with the authorities.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network
15 November 2008