From Monday March 2 the workers of the Nushab drinks factory have been on strike. They are protesting against not being paid their New Year bonuses and wages for the past five months. Nushab employs around 250 workers and most of them are official workers.
After their strike on Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 March the workers gathered behind the factory gates with placards demanded their bonuses and pay.
On March 2 none of the factory’s management, or any government departments, paid any attention to the strike. But once it continued on to March 3, one of the officials of the Labour Office and a number of Intelligence Ministry agents turned up at the factory. They attended a meeting with the general manager and workers’ representatives to discuss the issue of backpay. During this meeting, the Labour Office official unashamedly belittled the workers’ demands, saying that there were many factories with six months or more wage arrears, and that workers should not insist on being paid all their wages!
The workers’ representatives said that getting paid was the most basic right of workers and that maybe in bankrupt factories paying workers’ wages presents a problem, but at Nushab, working at full capacity and with two shifts, [it is just a case of] the boss abusing the workers.
At the end of the meeting it was agreed that the boss would pay three months’ wages (out of five months’ pay and two months’ bonus) by the end of the year (20 March), and that the other four months would be paid after the New Year holidays. The meeting ended on this agreement.
But a few hours after the meeting, the general manager of the factory told workers that there is no money on offer and that the factory gates would be locked shut. This really angered the workers and they told the general manager that he had no right to shut the factory gates and that “if you have the guts, do it, so that you’ll see what the workers will do”.
With this situation developing the workers of Nushab declared they would continue with their strike and struggles until their demands have been met.
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
Source: Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers