Since June 11, hundreds of workers have been holding work stoppages and daily protests at the governor’s office in Shush to demand wages and social security benefits not paid since March at the giant Haft Tapeh sugar cane growing and processing complex.
Some 5,000 workers, including thousands of daily contract workers, are employed at Haft Tapeh, where chronic non-payment of wages led to a mass strike and the creation of an independent union in 2008 which the government and the company refuse to recognize. While the workers and their families go hungry, the owner is on trial in Tehran, accused of obtaining from the government some 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in scarce hard currency, ostensibly destined for investment in the company, and selling it on the open market at 3 times the price.
COVID-19 has been spreading among the workers, who continue to report to work. They have no access to medical care since their wages and social security contributions have not been paid.
As always, the IUF stands in full solidarity with the workers and their union and calls on the government to act immediately to ensure full payment of all wages and social security benefits, proper workplace protective measures and full access to health services for all workers and family members.