By Jubin Katiraie
Iranians in several cities have held protests over dire working conditions and unpaid wages this week, despite the regime’s crackdown on protests of any type and the coronavirus pandemic, which has been mishandled by the regime.
In Arak, employees of the HEPCO industrial complex, seized by the regime after the revolution and sold to a regime affiliate in 2006, went on strike on Sunday outside the company’s management office to protest having not received wages for over two months. They held posters that read:
- “The company’s managers are industrial Daesh (ISIS)”
- “We demand the dismissal of the current CEO”
- “We want employment”
- “Coronavirus is an excuse, they want to shut down the factory”
Reports say that the company’s security attempted to stop this peaceful rally. The company has been the site of constant strikes because of the non-payment of wages, mass firings, and denial of employee rights.
Sunday was also the 35th day of the Haft Tappeh sugar cane factory strike. The employees in Shush, Khuzestan, gathered in front of the governorate, despite temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius, to demand payment of delayed wages, the renewal of their healthcare benefits, and the reinstatement of four people fired for taking part in previous protests.
On Saturday, residents of Pardis, Alborz, protested in front of the energy ministry’s office because of constant electricity outages during the summer.
One protester said: “The residents of area 11 of Pardis are faced with power fluctuations several times a day, which has resulted in the breakdown of home appliances. With air conditioners not working, it’s very hard to pass the summer and the electricity fluctuations are causing much financial damage to the residents. The disruptions have also shut down the water pumps of residential complexes, cutting off the water of many residents in the area.”
The regime staged their own pro-government rally in Behbehan, Khuzestan, on Sunday, in response to the large anti-government protests that shook the city on July 16. At that time, residents had poured into the streets to protest the mullahs with slogans like:
- “[Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei has some shame! Let go of the country!”
- “We don’t want the mullahs’ regime!”
- “Mullahs must get lost!”
- “Not Gaza! Not Lebanon! My life for Iran!”
- “Iranians would rather die than live in shame”
The Iranian Resistance wrote: “The Iranian regime is terrified of the possibility of popular protests re-emerging, especially as the mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak and deteriorating economic conditions are mounting the population’s rage against the ruling mullahs.”