June 29, 2021
By Kayhan Life Staff
A nationwide strike by Iranian oil workers on fixed-term contracts — which started a day after the June 18 Iranian presidential elections — has spread to 80 oil, gas, and petrochemical companies and is nearing its third week now.
Many workers on fixed-term and permanent contracts in other industries and businesses have now joined the industrial action. In addition, many tank truck drivers that provide fuel to refineries have joined the strike; as a result, many gas stations around the country have been experiencing a fuel shortage.
The workers demand higher wages, better work conditions, job security, and benefits. Many workers in oil and petrochemical industries on fixed-term contracts are paid much less than their counterparts in other businesses and have received no raise in years.
While some demands by the oil, gas, and petrochemical workers on strike are specific to those industries, other issues relate to fixed-term contract workers in all other sectors. For instance, workers want a minimum wage of $285, and want to be allowed to form independent unions, be paid on time, workplace insurance, healthcare, job security, a safe work environment, and the right to protest and strike.
The strike has inspired workers on fixed-term contracts in other businesses and production sectors to join the campaign and demand better pay and a safer work environment, including those working in factories, mines, construction workshops, transportation, seaports, and health and education. The unity shown in the recent nationwide industrial action serves as a model for all workers who fight for their rights.
Eight trade unions released a statement on June 28, lending their support to the striking oil and petrochemical workers, which read:
“To the striking contract workers in the oil and petrochemical industry,
As you have correctly concluded, to stage an effective protest against contractors, fixed-term contracts and low wages, and other issues, we workers, must above all else, organize our efforts and unite globally. Only through unity and solidarity can we move forward and achieve our demands. We welcome you and offer you our sincere support. We will benefit significantly from your experience during the current strike.
To continue our efforts in achieving our demands, we must create trade unions and independent labor organizations; promote greater unity and communication between employees in different sectors; strengthen our solidarity with workers on permanent contracts, maintain vigilance in confronting employers, and establish funds to help the striking workers and their vulnerable families.
We call on all workers, retirees, teachers, students, intellectuals, artists, journalists, and all hardworking and honorable men and women in our society to support this labor movement and help the striking workers to achieve their rightful demands.
Workers’ struggle to achieve their demands is like a mighty unstoppable wind and roaring wave.
Long live the unity and solidarity of the workers!”
June 28, 2021
- Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Mill Labor Syndicate
- Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company
- Association of Retirees Union
- Coordination Committee for Establishing Trade Unions
- Union of Eslamshahr Cultural Association
- Retirees Alliance Group
- Union of Aligudarz Cultural Association
- Union of Kurdistan, Saqqez, and Ziviyeh Cultural Association