In Iran, protests on Tuesday led to several arrests, as the demonstrations included slogans supporting the overthrow of the Iranian regime. Workers carried placards during the demonstrations, which included slogans of “Workers have no food to eat yet”; “Temporary contract is the worker’s slavery”; and “Oh, the billionaire minister! I have not bought meat for forty months.”
Various unions and workers’ groups called for the release of those arrested, and it was clear that the regime is continuing to deal with a powder keg of unrest from the Iranian people.
Law enforcement and security forces were dispatched to shut down the demonstrations. In front of the Majlis, repressive forces attacked the workers’ rally and a number of protesters were arrested. The regime’s intelligence service also attempted to intimidate a number of activists on April 30, warning them not to hold any ceremonies on Workers’ Day.
In Tehran, thousands of workers, retirees, and other members of society gathered for an anti-government gathering in front of the Iranian parliament to protest the deplorable living conditions that many Iranians have to deal with. Security forces attacked the rally and arrested a number of protesters. This was just one protest of many throughout the country.
“Hand in hand with their ‘fundamentalist’ rivals, the so-called ‘moderate’ mullahs allowed contractor companies to dominate the country’s job market. The companies belonging to the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and the so-called ‘reformist’ factions have confiscated the lion’s share of workers’ wages,” said Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a statement supporting Iranian workers. She also noted that the regime’s President Rouhani has initiated plans that make the situation of the Iranian workers even worse. Rajavi called on the workers to stand up against the regime and its policies.
“In order to achieve freedom and emancipation, you have to rely on your own power…The secret to prevail over the shameless onslaught of the clerical regime and its Guard Corps (IRGC) on your lives and rights is to associate your protests with the nationwide struggle for regime change,” said Rajavi.
The Free Union of Iranian Workers also spoke out against the arrests at the demonstrations, calling for the release of the detainees, while stressing that the Iranian workers have a right to organize independent International Workers’ Day events.
As part of the demonstrations, various industries pointed to the outsourcing of their jobs and how wages have been held down. The Iranian oil and gas workers are affected by these initiatives, despite the fact that their industry contributes approximately 80% of the Iranian GDP.
Last year, Iran saw more than 2,000 labor movements, including strikes, demonstrations, and protests. Workers have no social security in Iran and more than 93% of workers are employed as temporary contractors, according to the Ministry of Labor in Iran. Most of the manufacturing companies are also in the hands of the IRGC and workers deal with harsh conditions as a result.