Iranian pensioners held nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday in protest to the government’s decision to a 10-percent increase in payments while the inflation rate stands at 55 percent.
Retirees in several cities, including Esfahan and Arak in central Iran as well as southern cities of Shush, Shushtar, Hafttapeh, and Ahvaz, gathered outside governors' offices or provincial offices of Iran’s Social Security Organization to denounce the government's move to ignore decrees by the Supreme Labor Council, which had stipulated a 38-percent increase in the minimum wage. They are demanding pension increases on par with rising prices of essential foods.
The protests took place as temperature has risen to more than 50 degrees Celsius – about 122 in Fahrenheit scale – in many cities across the southwestern oil-rich Khuzestan province.
A union for contract workers of the oil sector said on August 6, that 35 workers of Abadan refinery in southern Iran passed out due to the heat, and were taken to hospital.
Amid a dire economic situation in Iran that has been worsening in recent months, at least 10 workers have committed suicide in the last three months due to dismissal from their jobs and "livelihood problems".
With food prices rising faster after four years of United States’ ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions, Iranian workers and retirees have been holding regular protests or strikes to demand higher salaries. In June, Iran’s currency fell to a historic low of 333,000 rials to the US dollar.
During the past weeks, widespread protests by workers,shop owners, and teachers protesting against poverty, inflation, and low wages, have been met with heavy-handed crackdown and numerous arrests by the security forces.