Oil and gas workers in Iran on one-day and other short-term contracts have gone on strike. They are demanding the reinstatement of sacked colleagues, full-time employment, better pay, more time off to see their families, improved living conditions and an end to the special economic zones and the system of subcontracting.
The strike was initiated by workers who are employed by subcontracting companies operating as intermediaries between privatised or state-owned oil and gas companies, on the one hand, and the workforce, on the other. Currently tens of thousands of workers at 22 refineries – including Jahan Pars, Gachsaran Petrochemicals, Tehran Refinery and Abadan Refinery – are on strike. A number of companies have been forced to stop operations.
As the workers point out, faced with the spiralling cost of living, they cannot support their families with their meagre earnings. The work is hazardous. The living conditions are appalling. Many of them work in southern Iran, where the summer temperature reaches almost 50 degrees centigrade. Workers are accommodated in dormitories.
There is widespread support from other workers in Iran. The full-time employees of the National Iranian Oil Company are threatening to join the strike if the demands of the short-term contract workers are not met.
Send solidarity messages via Hopi to the Council for Organising Protests by Oil Contract Workers and they will be added here.
1. To the Council for Organising Protests by Oil Contract Workers
Greetings of Solidarity to the oil workers, sugar cane workers and teachers of Iran who are taking strike action for better pay and conditions. I wish you every success in your battle for economic and political justice. The workers of Iran have a proud history of challenging the capitalist economic system and opposing tyranny, imperialism and war. If we stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, the workers of the world can complete our historical task of overthrowing capitalism and building a socialist society free of classes, exploitation, poverty and war.