Petrochemical workers on strike in Iran on October 10, 2022

Iran's Oil, Petrochemical Workers Begin Strikes, Protests

Monday, 10/10/2022
Maryam Sinaiee

A British Iranian journalist and political analyst and a regular contributor to Iran International

Some workers at Iran's Abadan Refinery have joined the petrochemical workers’ strike in Asalouyeh off the coasts of the Persian Gulf, which began Monday morning.

Social media reports say workers and staff of Phase 2 of state-owned Abadan Refinery walked out hours after reports of the strike at Asalouyeh Complex in Bushehr Province emerged. The government has disrupted access to mobile Internet in Khuzestan in the past few days but a video has emerged showing workers walking out Monday.

In other videos posted on social media contract workers at Asalouyeh are seen chanting “This year is the year of blood, Seyed Ali Khamenei is done! and “Down with the Dictator” in front of an administrative building. The narrator of the video says it is the beginning of the workday, 6:00 AM Monday, and that the workers have begun their “strike-campaign”.

The narrator of another video which shows smoke rising in the distance and workers gathering, says they have blocked the road to Asalouyeh Complex and gone on strike.In other videos workers are seen blocking the road with stones and rubble on a motorway where barrels of tar have been set on fire by workers.

Officials have accused protesters many of whom hail from other provinces and belong to various ethnic groups, of sabotage. “Long live Iran! Long live Lurs, Turks, Kurds, Arabs and Bakhtiari’s!” a worker says in one of the videos taken on the blocked road and stresses that workers are on strike in solidarity with the people of Iran.

Workers at Bushehr Petrochemical Company’s Site One at Asalouyeh Complex chanting “Don’t be afraid: We stand together!”.

Some social media reports claim workers of other companies in Asalouyeh have also joined the strike including Damavand Petrochemical Company and Kangan Petro Refining Company.

A statement by Council for Organizing Oil Contract-Workers’ Protests circulating on social media Monday said contract workers at Bushehr Petrochemical Company (Site One) and Hengam Petrochemical Company both of which operate at Asalouyeh Complex in Bushehr have begun their protests in solidarity with other protesters.

The statement urged all oil, gas, and petrochemical workers of every employment status (temporary, contract-based, permanent) as well as workers on oil rigs to start protesting and prepare for nation-wide strikes. “This is only the beginning of our path, and we will continue our protests every day in solidarity and in tandem with the people from all over the country.”

In some of the videos posted from Asalouyeh, however, workers clearly state that they are on strike.The council had warned last week that workers would not remain indifferent to the killing of protesters and would go on strike if it continued.

There are also reports that drivers of bitumen tankers employed by a private company have gone on strike and refused taking any loads for a fourth consecutive day from privately-owned Pasargad Oil Company serving Abadan Refinery.

In the capital Tehran, university students rallied to continue antigovernment protests. Images received show large demonstrations in Polytechnic and Amir Kabir universities.

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