The strike by the workers of Iran’s oil and petrochemical industries has spread to various cities, despite 700 workers at the Tehran refinery being fired.
On 23 June workers in many refineries and petrochemical industries joined the strikers who had already been on strike for two days. It is estimated that there are now around 20,000 oil and petrochemical workers on strike across 11 provinces, demanding higher wages, an increase in leave and holidays, better health and safety conditions.
In response, however, the regime stepped up its repression against the workers. According to labour activists, 700 workers were fired on 22 June at the Tehran refinery.
Workers from many centres, including the Mahshahr port of the Southern Oil Company, Assaluyeh, the Damavand petrochemical project, Kayhan Pars in Esfahan, Esfahan oil refinery, contract workers at the Abadan refinery, and workers at the Adish refinery have joined the campaign. Workers at the Kangan Phase 13 power plant also walked off the job.
The Council for Organising Protests of Oil Contract Workers is co-ordinating these strikes and protests. One of the workers’ main demands is that contractors be removed from all oil companies and that the labour law be applied equally — with equal wages — in all refineries, petrochemical plants and oil and gas industries.
The Oil Workers’ Protest Organising Council has announced that if the authorities do not respond to the workers’ demands, the strike will continue and they will join the protest of the official oil workers, scheduled to begin on 1 July.
On 23 June workers of the National Iranian Oil Company held protest rallies in Abadan, Ahvaz, Mahshahr and Assaluyeh. The rallies followed a call by the oil company’s official workers. The official workers of the oil company demanded the “accurate and fair implementation of the law of increase of wages... and the implementation of article 10 of the law of authority of the Oil Ministry”.
• Abridged: full report here