Iranian Workers Suffer From Regime’s Economic Mismanagement

 

Written by
Mansoureh Galestan

Iran suffers from an economic crisis due to the regime’s mismanagement and wasting national wealth on terrorism. Iranian workers are among the foremost victims of the mullahs’ regime. Working classes are facing a hard time as we approach the Persian New Year in March.

Workers’ economic hardships are coupled with the pandemic and its rising death toll due to the regime’s inhumane coronavirus policy. The workers’ wages are insufficient to cover their expenses due to the high inflation rate and rising prices of goods.

“[Official] estimates indicate 7 to 9 million tomans as the rate of the living basket. Years of experience have shown that finally, these numbers stay on paper, and the final salary [of workers] has a long distance with reality. While the poverty line has reached 10 million tomans, the weakest sections of society’s wages are still around two-and-a-half million. So, the gap between living conditions and inflation has become more critical, especially this year,” wrote the state-run Hamdeli daily on January 31.

Many workers have not received even their low salaries for months.

Thus, there are daily protests by workers in different cities across Iran. On Thursday, February 18, a group of Shariar Municipality workers near Tehran gathered in front of the Municipality, protesting not receiving their wages for two months.

One of these workers told a citizen journalist that “I receive 2.6 tomans, Mr. Mayor, could you live with this amount of money? Could you make ends meet?” Another worker says, “I have a low salary like my friend. But [we] have not received it for two months.”

Workers across Iran are living in harsh conditions, and there are protests by workers across Iran.

A group of workers in Mahshahri county, southwest Iran, went on strike for the third day on Monday, February 15, to protest the dismissal of their colleagues from the South Tehran Company. On February 18, 2020, a group of HEPCO manufacturing company workers in southwest Iran held a rally, demanding their unpaid wages.

The state-run media sometimes acknowledge workers’ tough living conditions.

“The cost of the living basket for a working family of three is 10 million tomans, while the minimum wage received by workers eventually reaches 3 million tomans. However, due to high inflation, purchasing power has fallen sharply, and the workers’ table has become empty,” wrote the state-run Kar-o-Kargar daily on February 9.

This is while workers are having a very difficult working condition and are deprived of their earnings.

“Workers’ wages and benefits will be determined unilaterally and to the benefit of the employer in collective agreements. Under the current circumstances, workers will see that they are deprived of their minimum wages. For example, brickwork workers have one of the hardest and harmful jobs. This group is not only deprived of the hard points of work, but they are deprived of the minimum wages. Not only is the employer reluctant to negotiate, but they simply violate the workers’ rights,” wrote the state-run Kar-o-Kargar daily on February 15.

 

But why is the regime unable to resolve people’s problems?
“None of the social classes of the Iranian people have a real representative in the government structure. Workers and other lower classes of Iran are having worse conditions than other sectors of society. The workers do not even have a real union. They also do not have media. Their voices do not reach anywhere,” wrote the state-run Mostaghel daily on February 20.

In addition, despite the regime’s efforts to blame the United States sanctions as the real reason for Iran’s economic crisis, people know, and the state-run media admit, that the real reason is the regime’s wrong economic policies.

“Those who think that a change of president in the United States will bring about a fundamental change in Iran’s economy are far too optimistic. The root of Iran’s economic problems lies more in domestic politics than in international ones. There is a center of economic corruption in the country, [which is Iran’s] real economic problem,” wrote the state-run Arman daily on January 27.

The growing economic and social problems have increased society’s restiveness. The regime’s state-run media have been warning officials about the consequences of their actions.

“The [regime] has chosen the wrong path regarding workers and their livelihoods, and it may reach critical points. Once we reach that dangerous situation and cross that critical point, no one can solve the problems. All problems will open their mouths at one time. On the day when the tolerance of the majority of the society, the workers, is over and their patience is exhausted, we will not see good results,” wrote the state-run Arman on February 15.

 

Iranian Workers Suffer From Regime’s Economic Mismanagement

 

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