Authorities Flip-Flop as Truck Driver Strike Wages on
Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) – A strike that started September 21st in the Iranian trucking industry continued for its fourth consecutive day, causing long delays at gas stations and spikes in the price of produce that drivers refuse to mitigate until authorities take action to resolve their complaints.
Stalling commercial transport across several Iranian cities–including Tehran, Arak, Sari, Qazvin, Asadie, Bandar Imam Khomeini, Khomeyn, Isfahan, Varzaneh, Shahr-e Kord, Abhar, Kermanshah, Darab, Ardabil, Shahr-e Babak, Ziabad, Shiraz, Zanjan, and Kazerun–striking drivers are heeding the call of the national truck-driver’s trade union to cease their operations until authorities concede to increase truck driver pensions, reduce the price of truck parts, increase driver wages by 70 percent, lower insurance premiums, and crack down on corruption in the industry.
Fuel stations short on truck-supplied petrol are struggling to serve the long lines of customers forming at the pump as the strike wears on. Meanwhile, potato and tomato prices have reportedly increased in certain localities.
This is reportedly the third coordinated truck drivers’ strike to occur in the span of a few months. The first two each lasted ten days, beginning, ending, and resuming when authorities failed, promised, and failed again to make good on their verbal engagements.
Hassan Nasiri, head of a truck-owners’ co-op in Jooybar, said that the biggest frustration hindering truck drivers was the inadequate provision of truck tires and parts, adding that the quantity of parts supplied by the Industry Ministry to the truck-owners’ union has not been sufficient in meeting the demand.
In an interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), head of the Alborz province truck-owners union Naser Kaviani said he was hopeful that their principle issues, such as the shortage of motor oil and parts, could be resolved with a reduction of market prices.
In a meeting with authorities including the Isfahan provincial governor, head of the national truck-owners union Ahmad Karimi, who is also from Isfahan province, said he was promised the provision of the sorely needed parts. According to Daryoosh Amadi, deputy head of the Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, or IRMTO, a subsidiary of the Roads and Urban Planning Ministry, the Industry Ministry refuses to fulfill drivers’ demands for tires.