At Least 100 Workers Laid Off in the Aq-Dareh Gold Mine Complex

Earlier this Monday, November 22, at least 100 workers were laid off in the mining sector of the Aq-Dareh Gold mine complex in Takab County in West Azerbaijan Province.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ILNA, many of these laid-off workers have over 15 years of experience. The employer has reportedly stated that the mass layoffs were necessary due to the reduced available work during winter months, but several workers claim that the weather is not yet cold enough to hinder their work.

Apart from these laid-off workers, 150 to 170  seasonal workers who have a temporary contract by late December have not received confirmation that they will get back to work in spring of next year.

Each year, as the workers in this report said, about 60% of workers get laid off and the remaining 200-220 are those who work in guarding, maintenance, equipping of machines and office work. Approaching winter each year, they face uncertainty over whether they will be among the laid off.

Three workers, Including a Child, Killed in Zahedan Due to Unsafe Conditions; One Worker Injured in Shiraz

In recent days, in Zahedan, three workers, including a child, died in a work accident. In Shiraz, one additional worker was injured. Iran ranks 102nd in workplace safety out of 189 countries.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, on Thursday, October 7, a worker was injured severely at the workplace. A young worker’s hand stuck between a trolley and wall lift while moving items to the top floor of the store. After firefighters freed his hand, the emergency response team transferred him to the hospital.

According to Baloch Campaign, In Zahedan, on Tuesday, October 5, three workers, one of whom was a minor, lost their lives while digging a well due to falling well walls.

Two of these workers have been identified as  16-year-old Naser Ghanbarzehi and Musa Ghanbarzehi.

16 Rallies in 2 Days: Students and Workers Across the Country Protest Unsafe Conditions

On May 5th and May 6th, several protests broke out that were related, in various ways, to political and economic institutions’ disregard for the safety and wellbeing of their members. High school students in at least 14 cities gathered to protest mandatory physical attendance for their final exams. In Tehran, a group of Tehran Metro workers gathered to demand that their medical and economic demands be met. A group of operators of the West Regional Electricity Company in Kermanshah protested the lack of wage regulation in the new year.

 

Police beat the protest students

 

On May 6, 2021, high school students in at least 14 cities including Boroujerd, Tehran, Qazvin, Semnan, Karaj, Shahr-e Kord, Shiraz, Zanjan, Khorramabad, Yazd, Tabriz, Birjand, Ardabil, and Fooladshahr, protested mandatory physical attendance for final exams.  To prevent further spread of COVID-19 and to ensure their own and their families’ safety, these students are calling for “final exams to be held virtually /online”.

Below is footage of students protesting in-person exams

 

The protesting students gathered in front of their respective education department buildings and chanted slogans such as “Do not be afraid, we are all in this together”, and “We do not want to physically attend”.

At some of these demonstrations, police physically assaulted peaceful student protestors. Several student protesters in Yazd and Fooladshahr were reportedly beaten by officers.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak in Iran, conducting exams that require physical attendance has raised concern among students and their families. On the Monday before the protests, the Corona Management Committee in Iran claimed that final exams were to be held in person in large and ventilated places.

Jafar Pashaei, Director General of Education in Tabriz Province responded to the protests. “Holding exams in person for the ninth and twelfth-grade is a national decision,” Pashaei said, “And it will definitely be held under protocols and distancing.”

Despite ongoing demands to be given a remote option, and despite the May 6th protests, education officials have maintained the in-person exam schedule.

 

Protests from Tehran Metro Employees

 

According to the official channel of railway workers and technical maintenance staff, a group of Tehran Metro personnel gathered in the company courtyard to protest the lack of attention to their demands for fair treatment,

The protesting workers’ main demands are “Expertise allowance, hardship allowance, prioritized COV-19 vaccination, Job title modification, full implementation of labor wage increase based on the decree of Supreme Labor Council, stop the plan of removing the trains’ co-driver, modify the formula for calculating the personnel salary tax, elimination of discrimination between operational and administrative staff as well as the revival and implementation of mandates to provide personal equipment for drivers.”

 

 

 

Protests from West Regional Electricity Company Operators

 

According to ILNA, on May 5, a group of operators of the West Regional Electricity Company in Kermanshah protested in front of the regional electricity office building in Kermanshah.

The operators said in a statement, “The wage decree of the Ministry of Labor is not being implemented well for us. Our wages and benefits are much lower than those of officials and contractors, and the wage increase has not been properly applied to us in the new year. Our wages are very low considering the inflation and what we do.”

The spokespeople added that what the Regional Ministry of Energy and Regional Electricity Office pay to companies as personnel salaries often do not end up going to the workers. These operators, who carry out dangerous work handling high-voltage electricity, want to sign a contract with the regional electricity itself, rather than the contractors.

Border Regiment Shoots and Wounds Kolbar (Cross-Border Laborer) in Outskirts of Baneh

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kordpa, on May 5, 2021, a border regiment’s direct shot wounded cross-border laborer Masoud Mohammadi, a resident of Nanour village in Baneh.

According to the report, Mohammadi was shot directly and without any prior notice by the border regiment, and then taken to a medical center for treatment in Baneh.

Kolbars’ work is difficult, largely-unregulated manual labor that people do in border areas with high levels of unemployment. Dozens of kolbars are injured and killed yearly from accidents, dangerous conditions, and border guard shootings.

A section of 2020 The Annual Report of Iran Human Rights addresses the citizens who have been killed or injured by military forces.

According to the report, border guards and law enforcement murdered 36 and wounded 109 kolbars in 2020 alone. An additional 5 workers were killed and 4 injured due to climactic and geographical working conditions such as frostbite-inducing temperatures, avalanches, and falling from great heights.