60 Steelworkers Arrested in Iran For Demanding Three Months Back Wages
More than 60 workers at the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, have been arrested for demanding their salaries, which have not been paid to them for the last three months, according to an independent Iranian labor organization.
The Free Workers Union of Iran reported that on the night of June 11, 2018, security forces carried out a “barbaric raid” against strikers and arrested close to 50 workers. About 15 steelworkers were also arrested the next day at a rally in front of the Khuzestan Governor general’s office.
Workers at the manufacturing plant have gone on strike numerous times in recent weeks to demand back pay. Their latest action began on June 10, 2018, when workers rallying in front of provincial government buildings and with of members of Iran’s Parliament, chanting, “they don’t pay salaries, death to America,” “workers will die but will not be humiliated,” and “we don’t want inept lawmakers.”
On June 12, Khuzestan Governor Gholamreza Shariati told the semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) that he was making inquiries about the workers’ mass arrests and seeking to send fresh funds to the financially troubled company.
In 2011, INSIG was taken over by the Iranian Judiciary after its owner was convicted of financial fraud. Despite having about 4,000 workers on paper, only about 400 of them are currently on the job as most of the plant has been shut down due to a lack of raw materials.
Those arrested include Hassan Javid Hamoudi, Peyman Shajarati, Mohammad Naghizadeh, Ali Jama’ati, Rahman Samak, Karim Sayyahi, Ali Aghabeh, Ali Taheri, Mostafa Zargani, Behzad Alikhani, Mohammad Mousavi, Amir Shabani, Razagh Mousavi, Hadi Vaeli, Farzad Gharaji, Younes Amiri, Ali Moradi, Nourali Khan Mohammad, Amir Harizavi, Ahmad Afravi, Hossein Afari, Ebrahim Farsi, Mohammad Alawi, Javad Mousavi, Alireza Mohrab, Javad Eskandar, Ali Daghaghaleh, Ebrahim Boroumandnia, Ali Hazinipour, Faisal Sari, Shahin Baba Ahmadi and Kazem Heydari.