Ever since March 12, when the management of the Ahvaz Pipe Manufacturing Company sacked over 2000 workers on temporary contracts, the workers have been holding daily protests, gatherings and marches.
These workers were sacked just one week before the Iranian new year and were laid off when they were still owed two months’ wages! They have vowed to continue with their daily protests until they are allowed to return to work and to have job security and legal safeguards.
The workers’ protests have included gathering outside the factory gates, as on March 16. On that day their representatives announced that the demonstrations will continue until the factory has been reopened and the workers reinstated. Within two hours of this protest and the representatives’ announcement, the security forces summoned five of the workers’ representatives and demanded an end to the protest.
On the morning of April 14, 300 sacked workers marched through Ahvaz city. They marched from the factory gates to the governor’s office; shouting slogans like “Having a livelihood is our absolute right”.
So far no one in management or from the government has been willing to meet the workers to discuss their grievances.
Ahvaz Pipe factory is in Ahvaz city, in the oil-rich Khuzestan province in south-western Iran. Around 600 official workers and workers on long-term contracts continue to work there.
Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
20 April 2009
Source: Human Rights Activists in Iran