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Iran: Four months without wages! Haft Tapeh sugar workers launch strikes and demonstrations

4 December 2017 Urgent Action
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On December 2, workers at the giant Haft Tapeh sugar cane plantation and mill complex in Shush launched a new round of strikes and demonstrations after more than four months without wages or benefits. The workers and their families are hungry, and they need your support.

The Haft Tapeh workers have always had to fight for their wages and pensions and their rights. In 2008, workers formed an independent union - affiliated to the IUF - following a 42-day strike to demand long-standing wage arrears. In June this year, the workers again held work stoppages and demonstrations to demand payment of wage arrears of up to four months. In response to our international campaign, the wage arrears were partially settled; temporary workers are still owed two months' wages for 2016. But workers have not been paid since July 11.

Union leaders have endured arrest, prison and blacklisting. The workers and their union again face repression and threats to close the business as they demonstrate for their wages, their pensions and their rights. When Haft Tapeh worker Aube Aghaabi recently took the company to court after a serious workplace accident, management retaliated by firing him along with 50 relatives or workers with a similar last name. The factory is under constant surveillance by the security forces.

Conditions at Haft Tapeh have worsened since the company was privatized in a murky 2015 privatization deal. Pension benefits have been suspended due to the company's failure to pay into the state social security scheme

The Haft Tapeh workers are demanding full payment of wage and benefit arrears; recognition of the union as the workers' legal representative; reinstatement of all unjustly terminated workers; and the company's return to government ownership.

CLICK HERE to send a message to the Iranian authorities in support of the workers' demands.