The head of the Supreme Council of Workers' Guilds in Iran has raised strong concerns about the inadequacy of the new minimum wage to cover living expenses for Iranian households.

Somayeh Golpour stated that “despite a 35 percent increase in the minimum wage, it still falls short of meeting 60% of household living costs when considering taxes, retirement deductions, and insurance.”

The minimum wage, set at approximately 110 million rials (about 175 USD) on March 19, has been deemed insufficient by labor representatives, leading them to abstain from endorsing the wage resolution proposed by the Supreme Labor Council. The government pushed through the below-inflation wage increase despite strong opposition by labor representatives.

The further fall of the national currency since January exacerbates the situation, with the minimum wage effectively stagnating in the new Iranian year (started on March 20). The predicament leaves millions of workers with minimal purchasing power, further compromising their living standards.

The reality is that the increase in the minimum wage lags significantly behind Iran's soaring inflation rate. Government-controlled sources estimate inflation at 43 percent, with food items experiencing even higher rates ranging from 80 to 100 percent. The imposition of economic sanctions by the United States in 2019 triggered a surge in inflation, compounding the financial hardships faced by Iranian wage earners.

Over the past six years, the Iranian rial has depreciated by a staggering 15-fold, reflecting the economic challenges gripping the nation and underscoring the urgency of addressing the widening gap between wages and living expenses for Iranian workers.

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