On August 28, workers of the Chahar-gonbad Copper Complex of Sirjan in central Iran put up a large transparent at the site entrance that read: “Workers of this copper complex willing to sell kidneys due to poverty.”
“We haven’t received our paychecks for the past two months,” a workers’ representative said. “We also haven’t received our pensions from months before. Our wages are very low, only receiving the minimum wage assigned by the Labor Department. Even this very low wage is only given to us once every two or three months. During the past two years, they have decreased our pensions. They first decreased the overtime pay. Then they decreased the workers’ groups in order to lessen our rights. And now we are here, barely making ends meet. These workers are tenants and in debt. When they don’t receive their paychecks they literally cannot manage their daily lives. They haven’t been paid for the past two months and are out of money. In such circumstances, they have decided to provide their mobile phone numbers to offer their kidneys for sale.”
The regime’s response to this was to further neglect and ridicule the workers.
“This banner, placed at the company entrance, is nothing serious. The workers are just joking,” said Hamed Hadiyan, who is head of the Sirjan Labor Department.
The working conditions of these workers are just another proof of the horrific way of how millions of workers in Iran are being used and taken advantage of. The Revolutionary Guards and institutions under the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei mainly own these production units.
Poverty and general deprivation of the Iran’s workers and their families, numbering over 40 million people according to the state statistics is shameful for the inhumane mullahs’ regime of Iran.
According to state media, Iran’s workers are not legally protected and more than 90% of them have part-time contracts.
If the workers decide to protest these harmful conditions outside of their worksite, they are immediately summoned by the regime’s judiciary, arrested and fired from work. When the workers protest inside the worksite, such as the Agh Darre miners, they are lashed and fined on charges of “disrupting order and preventing production.”
Iran’s workers are living in awful and disastrous conditions while the country’s wealth is wasted on exporting terrorism and warmongering in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other parts of the world, or Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions. Iran’s national wealth is also plundered in huge numbers by the senior regime officials and their family members.
The NCRI Labor Committee urges all labor syndicates across the world, as well as international and regional labor unions to support Iran’s workers and condemn the repressive measures of the regime. The Committee also urges the International Labor Organization to constitute a special fact-finding commission that will investigate the conditions of Iran’s workers and classify the Iranian regime as a violator of labor rights.