Steel workers protesting on December 24, 2023

Iranian Steel Workers Extend Strike Amid Ongoing Grievances

Saturday, 12/30/2023

Entering its eighth consecutive day, the strike by Ahvaz National Steel Group workers has escalated as they took control of all entry and exit points of the company.

The Free Union of Iranian Workers Telegram channel reported a gathering and protest march by the workers on Saturday morning.

Videos from the eighth day of the strike depict protesting workers chanting defiant slogans refusing "to accept humiliation." In one video, a worker from Ahvaz National Steel Group declared, "Protests will persist until our demands are addressed."

The discontent in Ahvaz stems from the recent termination of 21 employees and the failure to implement job classification plans. Workers engaged with representatives from the Khuzestan province's General Department of Labor, the National Bank, and various government agencies on Thursday, as reported by the Free Union of Iranian Workers.

A published list of demands for the meeting included the "Removal of the corrupt CEO, eliminating National Bank ownership, and granting workers a role in company management." However, no outcomes have been disclosed yet. The workers also released a statement ahead of the scheduled meeting, affirming their intent to continue the strike as long as "authorities' threats and inaction persist."

On the second day of protests, an additional 17 employees faced work restrictions. The Iranian National Steel Industrial Group, once controlled by Amir Mansour Aria's investment firm, has transitioned to private ownership following legal proceedings and Aria's execution for embezzlement.

In recent months, workers across various industries, guild members, and retirees have initiated protests against the prevailing economic conditions. Unfortunately, these demonstrations have often been met with security force crackdowns.

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