Iran’s oil refinery workers n Abadan began a strike on Tuesday as the government told the media that these labor actions are purely for wages and not political.
Amid nationwide antigovernment protests, a widespread strike by oil and petrochemical workers could be very damaging for the government’s finances.
Petrochemical contract workers went on a strike and protested on Monday in the southern city of Asalouyeh, on the Persian Gulf coast. A worker’s group announced on social media that managers shut down some plants to prevent workers gathering in the surrounding streets to protest.
A regional governor claimed on Tuesday that workers who went on strike in Assaluye petrochemical plant were angered by a dispute over wages and had not joined antigovernment protests.
But an announcement by an oil workers’ protest organizing committee on the Telegram messaging app on Tuesday said their strike and rallies are in solidarity with nationwide protests. They also demanded the release of workers apparently arrested on Monday. They vowed to continue their strike and protests, hoping that workers in nearby cities will join them.
Iran has been rocked by more than three weeks of protests after a 22-year-old woman was arrested for “improper hijab” and killed in police custody in mid-September. The movement quickly turned into demonstrations against the Islamic Republic, with protesters routinely chanting “Death to the dictator”, and rejection of the clerical regime that has ruled Iran for 43 years.