NCRI Staff

NCRI - The Iranian regime’s head of judiciary in Khuzestan province claimed that the gathering and guild protests of the workers of National Steel Industrial Group of Iran “do not comply with the law” and added: “Our patience is limited and if the gatherings persist, we have to deal with them”.

Farhad Afsharnia, in an interview with the state-run ISNA news agency, said that if the workers wanted the officials to hear their voice and say that there were problems with this company, this has happened and the “continued protests are not right”.

Without claiming the right of workers and their living conditions, he argued: “A company can pay the staff and workers their salaries only when they have production.”

This is while according to the state-run ILNA news agency, Ahmed Shajirati, Deputy Director General for Labor Relations, Co-operation Directorate General for Social Work and Social Welfare of Khuzestan Province said on Saturday, “The workers are expecting the employer to pay their rightful claims and they do not have any work to do due to lack of financial resources and the raw materials of production.”

Four thousand workers from the National Iranian Steel Industrial Group are currently demanding the payment of wage arrears of the months of December and January, and clarifying how their salary for the month of February is paid, as well as the festivities and end of the year (New Year) rewards.

The head of judiciary of Khuzestan threatened the workers and added: “We do not allow the social and labour issues of the country to be an excuse for foreign hostile networks."

“We have regarded the protesters so far so that no special encounter occurs, but if these gatherings are going to continue, we will have to deal with these people,” he said.

Prior to this, the regime’s judiciary in this province had issued a directorate to ban and illegalize the gathering of Petrochemical workers who have been gathering to claim their wage arrears. The judiciary had warned that from now on it would deal with any disorder of “disturbance” in companies order.

The statement came a few days after the speech by the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, was published.

Khamenei in his speech on February 5, which was published in his website on February 26, without mentioning the workers’ problems and their legitimate claims, accused the “enemies” of trying to create “stagnation and lameness among the workers to slow down the work or make the workers do so”.

The Free Trade Union of Workers of Iran reported that workers of the National Iranian Steel Industrial Group continued their gatherings on Sunday March 4th in front of the governorate of Khuzestan on the twelfth day of their protest. In this gathering, the families of the detained workers of the complex also participated.

According to the guild organization, the gatherers demanded the authorities to release their detained colleagues and address their guilds demands.

According to the reports, 9 workers of the National Steel Industrial Group were arrested on Thursday March 1 by the security forces in Ahvaz.