Mass strikes by oil workers in Iran

Contract workers in Iranian oil and gas projects and petrochemical plants have gone on strike in Iran demanding better wages, an end to systematic non-payment of wages, better living conditions and an end to the dominance of unscrupulous contractors.

The strike was initiated by workers employed by subcontracting companies, who impose short-term contracts on workers and operate as a buffer between privatised or state-owned oil and gas companies and the work force. Currently thousands of workers at 22 refineries and projects in the major oil and gas centres, including Jahan Pars, Gachsaran Petrochemicals, Tehran Refinery and

Abadan Refinery are on strike, forcing a number of projects to suspend operations.

As the workers point out, faced with the spiralling cost of living they cannot feed their families with the meagre wages they earn. In addition their living conditions are horrific. Many of them work in south Iran where in the summer temperature is near 50 degrees centigrade, and living conditions in workers’ dormitories are unbearable.

Employees of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have declared their support and will join the strike on 30 June.

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