Ten thousand Iranian workers from various industrial units and five provinces have petitioned against the restructuring of government subsidies, demanding wage increases commensurate with the inflation rate.
ILNA reports that a petition signed by 10,000 workers from a wide range of factories has been forwarded to Parliament as well as the administration.
Reports indicate that the Free Iranian Workers Syndicate organized the petition and collected the signatures.
Addressing Abdolreza Sheikoleslami, the Minister of Cooperatives, Employment and Social Welfare, the workers indicate that while prices have multiplied many times, workers’ wages have not increased at all.
The Ahmadinejad administration restructured government subsidies in 2011, scrapping subsidies on energy, food staples and many services across the country.
The petition points out that the government has described the restructuring of subsidies as a move benefiting the lower classes.
The Ahmadinejad administration has often spoken of the subsidy restructuring as a way of eliminating poverty in Iran.
In the petition, the workers describe how contractors exploit workers’ labour and they list the lack of job security, lay-offs and factory closures as other factors contributing to the plight of workers in recent years.
The workers demand “an increase in the minimum wage commensurate with the rate of inflation, the implementation of insurance legislation for construction workers, the elimination of contracting companies in exchange for a system that gives workers direct and permanent contracts, and the creation of mechanisms to assure the timely payment of wages.”
The signatories also call for the prosecution of employers that exploit workers’ rights by refusing to give them contracts or not paying their wages.