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Iran Thousands of Iranian oil workers strike over pay

MARKING a serious development in the country’s current economic and social instability, fixed-term project workers in the massive oilfields, petrochemical companies and gas fields in Khuzestan and oilfields of southern Iran went on strike on Saturday and prepared to return to the towns and cities where their families live until their demands are met.

Safety at work and deplorable working conditions for project workers is well documented: Ebrahim Arabzadeh, a contract worker at the Mahshahr Petrochemical complex, died as a result of heat exhaustion last week amid high temperatures, reaching 60°C in places. 

Workers’ ongoing complaints include dire conditions of poverty, deprivation, unpaid wages and wage arrears, poor housing and management’s disregard of demands.

The strike has hit a number of refineries, petrochemical complexes and also the massive Assaluyeh gas fields in the Persian Gulf.  

In a statement the communist Tudeh Party of Iran said: “All progressive and freedom-loving forces of the country should use all their power to defend and support the growing struggle of workers across the country, linking them to the widespread social protests against the regime’s unpopular policies, the severe economic crisis and the escalation of poverty and deprivation of large sections of people of our homeland.”

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