Five thousand workers at the brick-making burners in Kermanshah province have been laid off over the past two years, the Kermanshah Post website reports.
The report indicates that the closure of traditional brick burners during that period has left thousands of workers unemployed in the northwestern region of Iran. The workers and management say cuts to government subsidies were to blame for a sudden rise in production costs and the eventual shutdowns.
The governor and relevant officials have been repeatedly urged to tackle workers’ problems, but the authorities have been basically ignoring the situation, which has caused an exodus as workers seek jobs in other provinces.
When the government implemented its plan to restructure subsidies, it led to a sharp rise in the price of energy and food staples. Coupled with the economic impact of international sanctions on Iran, the result has been a sharp rise in unemployment due to the closure of numerous factories and manufacturing centres in various regions of the country.
The Iranian government denies that unemployment is on the rise, and the Ahmadinejad administration claims that it created 1.6 million jobs in the past year and promises that a similar number will be created this year.