An Iranian company has started punishing its workers who participated in strikes and protests to demand their long-overdue salaries.
Nearly 20 workers at Iran’s AzarAb Industries Construction company – which employs more than 2,500 people – were suspended from work for one year, and a local court sentenced them to 30 lashes, and three months imprisonment over their participation in a protest in late May.
The workers of the company say their salaries have been paid regularly in the past two months but there is no stability in the managerial team and they keep changing.
Iranian workers and pensioners have been holding regular nationwide protests during the past months to demand better work conditions and higher salaries on par with the increasing prices of essential foods and other commodities.
On August 9, Iranian pensioners held another round of demonstrations in protest to the government’s decision to a 10-percent increase in payments while the inflation rate stands at 55 percent, denouncing the government's move to ignore decrees by the Supreme Labor Council, which had stipulated a 38-percent increase in the minimum wage.
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.