Security forces have arrested dozens of workers of Iran’s oil and gas fields in the Persian Gulf who were holding a protest in front of the Oil Ministry building in Tehran.
According to reports published by social media users and labor activists, most of the detainees were employees of South Pars Gas field, located in the southern Bushehr province. The Free Union of Iranian Workers, which had organized the protest, said that a large number of oil ministry the employees from different cities had traveled to Tehran for the rally.
The union said about 70 people were arrested and their cellphones were confiscated. It added that several were released after police forced them to sign official pledges not to participate in protests again, and the rest were taken to a detention center.
Holding placards, the protesters demanded better wages and working conditions, and lower taxes as well as proper healthcare services.
An oil sector labor union said in August that more than 500 workers of different oil and gas projects in southern Iran had been hospitalized with around 30 dead due to high temperatures in the summer.
Also on Saturday, pensioners held another protest against the Iranian government's refusal to address their long-standing demands for higher pensions to keep in line with inflation. Iranian workers and retirees have been holding regular protests or strikes to demand higher salaries.
Amid a dire economic situation in Iran at least 10 workers have committed suicide in the last three months due to dismissal from their jobs and "livelihood problems".