Iran Economy NewsAstronomical Distance Between Workers' Income And The Poverty Line...

Astronomical Distance Between Workers’ Income And The Poverty Line In Iran


Coinciding with International Labor Day, Faramarz Tofighi, a former workers’ representative in Iran’s Supreme Labor Council, shed new light on the difficulties facing Iranian workers. “The minimum livelihood basket, which was 180 million rials (around $330) at the beginning of the year (meaning late March), has now reached 210 million rials (around $380).”

At the same time, a member of the regime’s Majlis (parliament) Budget and Calculations Commission announced a 20-percent increase in the salaries of Majlis members.

Tofighi said, “Meat has completely disappeared from the food basket of working-class families, and in the dairy section, both the quantity and quality have decreased. Therefore, talking about the cost of livelihood baskets in such circumstances is more like a joke and satire.”

In an interview with the state-run ILNA news agency, Tofighi said that the government is the largest employer in the country and seeks to compensate for its budget deficit and cash shortages by not increasing the wages of workers and employees.

“The government not only opposed the legal increase in wages but now explicitly states that it is not on the agenda to reform the wages. The government has not kept any of its promises to control inflation, and all prices have increased by more than 40 or 50 percent in the past month,” he added.

“Meanwhile, the silence among Majlis members …. is disappointing, and unfortunately, instead of solving the problem of wage earners, they are busy with SUV car transactions,” Tofighi continued.

According to reports, Reza Fatemi Amin, the regime’s now impeached Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, allegedly gifted 75 SUVs to Majlis members in recent days to avoid being impeached.

While these controversies have been brewing, Jabbar Kuchakinejad, a member of the Majlis Budget and Planning Commission of the Majlis, has added insult to injury to the Iranian people. “Based on a decision of the members of the Majlis Budget and Planning Commission, the salaries Majlis members and employees will increase by 20 percent this year,” he revealed.

This is while the regime’s Labor Minister claimed in a recent interview with state TV on Labor Day that workers can have a decent life with the same level of wages and income, if that they and their families “live with contentment.”

The government of regime President Ebrahim Raisi had previously agreed and pledged an increase in workers’ wages by 27 percent for the new Persian year (starting from March 21). The workers’ income during the new Persian calendar year (March 2023 to March 2024) will be 80 million rials per month.

Despite objections from labor organizations regarding the very meager wage increases, and despite escalating inflation and skyrocketing prices of basic goods and services, the government is insisting on its decision and emphasizes that wage reform is not on the agenda.

According to reports, on Monday, May 1, coincided with International Workers’ Day, retirees across Iran took to the streets demanding the resignation of the regime’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare. Many retirees from the cities of Haft Tapeh and Shush in Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran, marched and chanted different anti-regime slogans, including:

“Our rights will only be recognized through street protests”

“Enough with the injustice! We have nothing to eat!”

Retirees were also protesting in Sari, the provincial capital of Mazandaran in northern Iran. “Our wages are in rials, but our expenses are in dollars,” they chanted, referring to the rising prices of everyday necessities, services, rent, and mortgage.

Workers, retirees, teachers, and other sectors of Iran’s society were also marking International Labor Day by holding protest gatherings and chanting anti-regime slogans in other cities including Tehran, Kerman, Yazd, Kermanshah, Ilam, Bushehr, and Isfahan. These protests took place against the backdrop of ongoing strikes by Iranian workers in the energy sector.

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