Nearly Two Months of Strike by Haft Tappeh Workers, Iranian Regime Has Taken No Action to Help Them
Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company have been on strike and protesting their working conditions for nearly 50 days. Workers and employees of this company have gone several times on strike and held various protests for not receiving their wages for consecutive months and the criminal policy of privatization.
The workers have marched numerously, chanting slogans against company officials and their deceptive measures to plunder the workers under the pretext of privatization, as well as the regime’s officials, particularly the governor of Khuzestan province.
The workers have also been demanding the rehiring of four workers who had been fired because of their participation in previous protests. A Dozen of other workers have been arrested, tortured, and forced to make TV confessions within the past two years.
Instead of taking actions and helping workers, the regime’s officials have sent their security forces on several occasions to suppress the workers. During the second round of the protests and strike by Haft Tappeh workers in February, the special anti-riot guard, dispatched from Ahvaz, occupied the factory and attacked the workers on strike, arresting dozens of them. They transferred the detainees to the Haft Tappeh Station of the security forces and then to the justice department of the city of Shush.
These workers, while working and grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, have not received their wages for months. The regime, with its forced reopening of economy, has not only endangered the life of these workers and all other Iranians, but it has also put additional pressure on them by denying them their paychecks.
In this regard, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote on Twitter: “Hail to the workers of Haft-Tappeh sugarcane company in Shush who have been on protest and strike for 50 days. The clerical regime has abandoned our people in the clutches of disease, unemployment, and poverty. They do not pay workers and nurses’ salaries. The only solution is replacing the mullahs’ oppressive rule in Iran with people’s sovereignty and the rule of democracy.”
Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company is located 14 km from Shush city and has factories as well as 24,000 hectares of goods land on the banks of the Dez River in Khuzestan Province, south-western Iran. The company was handed over to Omid Asadbeigi and Mehrdad Rostami, 28 and 31 years old respectively, at a 2015 auction with a down payment of only 6 billion tomans. Asadbeigi received $1.4 billion in government currency to spend on Haft Tappeh Sugar Company but sold the currency on the open market. The Workers Union also reported that the Khuzestan Provincial Security Council had given Asadbeigi a “license” to pay workers’ arrears with delay. The regime has been forced to hold a show trial for Asadbeigi. Yet, this trial shows the depth of corruption with the regime. The state-run Fars News Agency reported on May 21 that the name of Gholamreza Shariati, the governor of Khuzestan, had been raised in the court of disruption of the country’s currency and monetary system. In one of the cases against the governor of Khuzestan, the regime’s investigator stated that during the investigation, Omid Asadbeigi said that he had spent money on the trip by the Khuzestan governor and his family abroad, which is in the file.