Demanding Water, Wages, and Benefits: A Recap of This Week’s Protests

Posted on: 21st May, 2021
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According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, at least 26 protests took place across the country this week, 6 of them today. The unassociated protests and their participants’ demands varied greatly, but all related, in one way or another, to political and economic institutions’ disregard for citizens’ needs. Here is a quick breakdown.

 

Pensioners Protest in 5 Cities

 

On May 16, retirees protested in at least 5 cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Khorramabad, Mashhad, and Kermanshah.

Pensioners carrying banners chanted slogans and marched in front of their local Social Security offices. They demanded an increase in pensions following the poverty line increase,  implementation of the equalization of salaries law, strict implementation of Article 96 of the Social Security Law, attention to supplementary insurance problems, and payment of end-of-year bonuses.

 

 

Teachers protest in Tehran and Tabriz

 

On May 16, several teachers protested in front of the Parliament Building in Tehran and in front of the Department of Education Building in Tabriz, calling for their demands to be addressed.

 

 

Families of the victims of the 2020 Ukrainian plane crash protest in Tehran

 

On May 16, a group of families of the victims of the 2020 Ukrainian plane crash gathered in front of the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces in Tehran. The families protested the trial, the rejection of their request to study the case, and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s remarks about “curing the accident” in his leaked tape of the interview.

 

 

 

Municipal workers protest in Lowshan

 

According to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), on May 16, workers of the Municipality of Lowshan protested low wages and insurance problems in front of the municipal building for the second day in a row. According to the workers of Lowshan Municipality, on the morning of May 15, the protest broke out after Lowshan’s mayor insulted several service workers in the yard and inside the building.

 

 

 

Kaveh Glass Industrial Group workers protest in front of Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare

 

According to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), on May 16, a group of workers from the Kaveh Glass Industrial Group demanded fair working conditions and retirement benefits in front of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare.

 

Per the report, the workers demanded the right to retire after working 20 continuous years or 25 consecutive years, given the difficulty and high risk of the job.

 

According to news sources, the workers all have retirement status and have been insured in these difficult jobs for more than 20 years.  The workers claim that the employer not only did not help them to retire but also laid them off shortly before the benefits were set to activate. They are currently both jobless and unable to retire.

 

 

Teachers and staff of special-needs education schools protest in Khuzestan province

 

According to the Asr-e-Junub news agency, on May 16, teachers and staff of schools for children with special needs in Khuzestan province protested in front of the General Directorate of Education in Ahvaz. The protestors demanded increased salaries and the resolution of clerical insurance problems.

 

Literacy movement educators protest in front of Parliament Building

 

According to the ISNA news agency, on May 16, a group of educators of the literacy movement protested in front of the Parliament Building and requested Parliament representatives’ support, as their employment status is currently shaky.

 

Residents of Health Boulevard in Saravan protest in Sistan and Baluchestan Province

 

According to the Baloch Activists Campaign, a group of citizens living in Saravan’s Health Boulevard protested in front of the governor’s office and the office of Islamic Consultative Assembly representative Malek Fazeli on May 17.

 

The residents protested lack of electricity and poor infrastructure in the area, after numerous attempts to resolve the issue through the electricity department were unsuccessful.

 

Servants and school caretakers protest in Shiraz

 

According to the Free Union of Iranian Workers, on May 16, servants and caretakers of Shiraz schools demanded an increase in wages and benefits in front of the city’s education building.

 

Private school teachers protest in Ilam

 

According to the Free Union of Iranian Workers, on May 17, teachers and employees of private schools in Ilam protested outside the Department of Education building of the province. According to the report, the protestors have been working for years with very low salaries. They requested a salary raise and benefits increase and called on the elimination of discrimination they have been facing compared to government employees.

Safety Consultants protest outside Ministry of Labor building in Tehran

 

On May 19, a group of safety consultants from all over the country protested in front of the main door of the Ministry of Labor building in Tehran. They demanded an immediate cessation of the implementation of Technical Protection and Safety Services bylaws, and revision of the bylaws and instructions “in the presence of experts and representatives of real advisors”.

 

 

 

Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Water Company workers protest in Gachsaran

 

According to Kebnanews, on May 18, several members of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad Water and Sewerage Company protested not receiving their wages and insurance benefits in front of the Dogonbadan’s Water and Sewerage Office in Gachsaran.  All of the protesting workers have been employed for more than 5 years by this company, and have not been paid for three months.

 

 

Karnameh Sabz’ teachers protest in Tehran

 

According to the Free Union of Iranian Workers, on May 19, teachers of Karnameh Sabz protested the uncertainty of their employment status in front of the Ministry of Education building in Tehran. Karnameh Sabz teachers are educators who took the Ministry of Education’s recruitment exam (Article 28 exam) and have been selected by officials, but no action has been taken by the ministry since the exam. On the previous day, teachers also protested in front of the Parliament building in Tehran.

 

 

Truck drivers protest in Arak  

 

According to the ISNA news agency, on May 19, several truck drivers in Arak protested for the fifth day in a row. They called on their union demands and complained about the failure of officials in the Road Maintenance & Transportation Organization.

Aseminun miners protest in Manujan in Kerman

 

On May 19, workers of the Aseminun mine in the city of Manujan in Kerman province protested not receiving their wages for the third day in a row of the strike. The

protesters demanded payment of their unpaid wages, the ousting of the current mine owner, and the transfer of ownership to the public sector.

Gardeners protest in Robat Karim

According to the Basi news agency, on May 20, several gardeners from Robat Karim protested in front of the governor’s office.  Protestors claimed their right to ownership had been violated by the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad even though they had the proper legal paperwork.

 

 

Agents and sellers of Sufi Cement protest in Tabriz

 

According to the Free Trade Union of Iran, on May 20, several agents and sellers of Sufi Cement gathered in front of the East Azerbaijan Governor’s Office in Tabriz to protest cement shortages.

Shareholders of Samen Coin protest in Tehran

 

According to the Free Trade Union of Iran, on May 20, 2021, a group of shareholders of Samen Coin protested in front of the Central Bank in Tehran.

 

Jovein Cement factory workers protest in Khorasan Razavi

 

According to the Free Trade Union of Iran, on May 20, 2021, workers of the Joven Cement Factory in Khorasan Razavi protested low wages and poor working conditions.

 

Villagers protest amid continued water shortages in the western suburbs of Karun

 

According to the IRIB news agency, on May 21, villagers of the western suburbs of Karun gathered in front of the Arvandan Oil and Gas Company refinery to protest authorities’ unfulfilled promises to address the ongoing water crisis in Karun. Twelve villages in the western suburbs of Karun, each with populations of  over 6,000, have been experiencing water shortages for nearly four years.

 

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